National Writing Project

The Age of Student-Run Writing Centers

By: Dave Goldfarb
Publication: The Journal of the Virginia Writing Project
Date: January 7, 2013

Summary: Dave Goldfarb, a teacher-leader of the Northern Virginia Writing Project and a principal in Fairfax County Public Schools, outlines the strategic thinking involved in the development of a student-run writing center at school.


Excerpt from Article

Creating a school-wide initiative or program such as a writing center requires plenty of strategic thinking. A writing center will only be as successful as the frequency and quality of use. Building a sustainable program requires gaining support from students and teachers by showing how it will meet their needs. It is important for teacher leaders to have their programs supported by the school leadership and see how a writing center could fit the vision of the school leadership.

As a principal, I welcome teacher leaders sharing ideas and helping explore how strong classroom practice can be incorporated into a school's instructional plan. Getting encouragement from the school administration and the Instructional Council can increase the likelihood of initial success. One way is that the leadership sets an expectation for curricular departments to incorporate the writing center as part of the process for their students to complete some of their instructional tasks. . . ."

Copyright © 2010 Northern Virginia Writing Project. Reprinted with permission.
Goldfarb, Dave. 2010. "The Age of Student-Run Writing Centers." The Journal of the Virginia Writing Project 31 (3): 9–11.

About the Author
Dave Goldfarb is the principal at Fairfax High School and a teacher-consultant of the Northern Virginia Writing Project.

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