National Writing Project

Coaching Teacher-Writers: Practical Steps to Nurture Professional Writing

Troy Hicks, Anne Elrod Whitney, James Fredricksen, and Leah Zuidema

List Price $33.95
NWP's Price $25.46

When teachers write, good things can happen; writing helps educators to better understand themselves, as well as students, parents, and colleagues. This practical book illustrates how to encourage, lead, and sustain teacher-writers, especially in group contexts. In contrast to guides on writing and teacher research, this book is designed for those who support teacher-writers, such as teacher educators and literacy coaches. The authors offer descriptions of key practices they have developed over years of coaching, teaching, and collaborating with K12 teachers who write about classroom instruction, teacher research, or advocacy for better policy and pedagogy. Knowing firsthand just how hard writing can be for teachers, they provide a repertoire of strategies to elicit writing, to support teachers as they write, to find audiences for the teachers work, and much more.

Book Features:

This book offers clear guidance to coach teacher-writers to:

  • Choose topics and shape ideas.
  • Conquer insecurities and draw from their strengths.
  • Establish authority with their audience.
  • Navigate publishing, including choosing venues and working with editors.
  • Find time and space to write and create the habits of writing daily.
  • Respond to audience reaction to their writing.
  • Reflect on their teaching and writing.
  • Develop a voice and vision as a professional.


"This book is extraordinary in its depth and breadth and coverage of strategies for coaching teacher-writers. It is a refreshing look at how teachers can learn to write and develop writerly identities. Thank you, authors, for writing a groundbreaking book and having the will to challenge our thinking about how to coach teacher-writers."
—From the foreword by Patricia A. Edwards, Michigan State University

"Central to life and practice at the National Writing Project is the commitment to writing—not just teaching it, but doing it ourselves, for purposes both personal and professional, in a community of writer/educators. Understanding writing is a lifelong journey. This book is an indispensable guide to beginning that journey yourself and together with colleagues."
—Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, executive director, National Writing Project

"It's a truism that teachers (especially writing teachers) should be writers themselves, but this book goes a step further to show us why and how. The four authors—committed teacher-writers themselves—not only share the inspiring ways they guide teachers to recognize their writing selves, they give us specific approaches to help teachers gain confidence as writers and expand the purposes, audiences, and genres for their writing. And if we want to change the public narrative about teachers and teaching, this is the place to begin: Just imagine a world in which teachers, writing up a storm about their experiences, are the ones the public turns to to better understand the story of education. Coaching Teacher-Writers gives me both the hope that this can happen and specific advice about how I can become a better collaborator, facilitator, and cocreator who helps teachers find their voices and celebrate the power (and joy) that writing can give them."
—Cathy Fleischer, professor, Eastern Michigan University

"The authors know how to support teachers in gathering the courage to write—and keep writing—amidst the relentless work of teaching. I am grateful that the clear and specific ideas in Coaching Teacher-Writers will lead more teachers to gather in nurturing and sustaining groups, and I am grateful for the ideas that have ignited my own writing."
—Penny Kittle, Teacher and Author

About the Authors:
Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University, director of the Chippewa River Writing Project, and author of the TCP collection Assessing Students' Digital Writing. Anne Elrod Whitney is an associate professor of language and literacy education at Pennsylvania State University. James Fredricksen is an associate professor at Boise State University and co-director of the Boise State Writing Project. Leah Zuidema is associate provost and dean for curriculum and instruction at Dordt College.

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