I entered teaching about 25 years ago, the year the accountability movement took hold of my native state of South Carolina. Although the Exit Exam soon became the be-all and end-all of what we taught and how we taught, I started my career seeking what I would later discover to be "best practice‚" specifically for teaching writing. My first decade of teaching was a time of experimentation and discovery—for me and my students. Ironically, today I know my field far better than when I began, but my focus now is consumed with helping other teachers negotiate the bureaucracy of teaching in hopes of squeezing best practice into classrooms completely consumed with accountability.
My pursuit of empowerment in my profession has led to nearly paralyzing frustration—for me and the students I encounter in undergraduate and graduate courses. I have moved from, "How do I get student voices on paper?" to "How do I get teacher voices heard?"
Greenville, South Carolina
25 years of teaching
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Author(s): Traci Gardner
Traci Gardner offers practical tips, starting points, and a companion website to help secondary and college teachers design effective writing assignments.