Stephanie West-Puckett is a Teaching Instructor in the Department of English at East Carolina University
and has over a decade of experience teaching and working with writers
of all ages and experience levels. With an MA in English, a
concentration in Creative Writing, coursework in Technical and
Professional Writing, and a passion for outreach, Stephanie joined the Tar River Writing Project
leadership team in February 2011 and looks forward to continuing to
build educational partnerships and professional learning networks in
Eastern NC. Since 2008, she has Co-directed the Leadership for Equity,
Excellence, Achievement and Partnership (LEEAP) Team and facilitated
professional development institutes that support teacher-inquiry as a
means to increasing student achievement by addressing issues of race,
class, equity, and educational justice in Eastern NC. In addition, her
research interests include first-year composition, service-learning as a
writing pedagogy, digital writing and citizenship, and reading and
writing across the curriculum. She is also on the Board of Directors
as Conference Director for the North Carolina English Teachers Association.
Writing Project Site
One of the most difficult challenges of teaching first-year writing at the university level is moving students from a set of tightly held, prescriptive beliefs about what constitutes good writing into a space where they can broadly consider the unique rhetorical situation of every composition. Each semester, multiple students tell me they’ve never written anything for school other than a five-paragraph essay, and they look at me incredulously when I tell them that their thesis might not be best located in the last sentence of their first paragraph. They tell me good writers put five to seven sentences in every paragraph and never use contractions, and I tell them that this semester, we’re going to break all those rules and write with more than words on a page or a screen, just to see what might happen.
This collection of resources demonstrates the ways that middle school teachers at a high needs middle school in Eastern North Carolina are transforming their professional learning and teaching practices with Connected Learning frameworks.
In mid-January, the Tar River Writing Project (TRWP) launched TRWP Connect, a professional development partnership with EB Aycock Middle School to engage faculty in exploring connected learning theory and practice.
One of the most exciting features of the Making Connected Learning Connected (#clmooc) experience has been the regular Google Hangouts On Air we’ve hosted during each Make Cycle. As synchronous events broadcast live and archived on the NWP Make With Me blog page, these sessions provided an opportunity to share what we were working on during each week’s Make Cycle, invited participants into the larger conversation, and helped us dig deeper into the Connected Learning Principles that underpinned each week’s explosion of making and sharing.