National Writing Project

Working Together

By: Cathy Cirimele
Date: January 27, 2010

Summary: Cathy Cirimele, a teacher-consultant with the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project, narrates the fears, sorrows, joys, and benefits of participating in a summer institute writing group after 25 years as a writing teacher who had never been critiqued.



It wasn't as though I was a young teacher who was absorbing for the first time the instructional strategies being demonstrated on a daily basis. In fact, I don't think I learned many new techniques about teaching writing from attending the summer institute. But what I did learn was even more significant: I learned what it felt like to sit in a response group and listen to your peers criticize your writing. When I look back to my writing project summer, what I remember most vividly is that I finally felt like one of my own students.

Copyright © 2009 California English. Reprinted with permission.
Cirimele, Cathy. 2009. "Working Together." California English 15 (2): 16–18.

Read more California English articles on the California Writing Project.

About the Author Cathy Cirmele retired in 2008 after 35 years of teaching English. She is a teacher-consultant with the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project.

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