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21st Century Classroom
North Idaho Teachers Selected to Shape 21st Century Classroom
By Donna Emert
As employers continue to seek out employees with strong communication skills, the State of Idaho is working with writer/educators to strengthen students' writing skills across the curriculum.
Many of the teachers who will work with the Idaho State Department of Education on Idaho public schools' writing programs are writers themselves: Seven of the 50 Idaho educators recently selected to work with the SDE on the 21st Century Classroom Universal Design for Learning Lesson Plan Master Teacher Program are also members of the Northwest Inland Writing Project (NIWP), the University of Idaho site of the National Writing Project.
Teachers from North Idaho selected to participate in the SDE's 21st Century Classroom program include: Megan Cuellar, kindergarten teacher at Potlatch Elementary School, Potlatch; Jill Diamond, sixth grade teacher at J. Russell School, Moscow; Katie Suenkel Grautman, English teacher at Timberlake Senior High School, Rathdrum; Marie Hammon, fourth grade teacher at Ponderosa Elementary School, Post Falls; Lisa Nance, English teacher at Timberlake High School, Rathdrum; Ayrha Ellis, who leads the gifted and talented program at Ponderosa Elementary School, Post Falls; and April Niemela, ninth grade language arts teacher at Jenifer Junior High School, Lewiston. All are NIWP members.
“I am extremely proud and excited for these outstanding teachers, but in many ways, I’m not surprised,” said Emily Duvall, Director of the NIWP and assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction at University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene. “Our teachers are not only skilled in the field of writing, teaching writing and providing professional development for peers in writing and language arts instruction, but also are leading experts in the field of teaching in our state,” Duvall said.
Each year, the university hosts an Invitational Summer Institute, a six-credit, graduate-level course for teachers seeking to improve their teaching of writing, and their own writing, while also training to become writing consultants to other educators. Current professional development courses being offered to teachers across the state focus on meeting the new Common Core State Standards, as well as writing.
NIWP also is collaborating with the Boise State Writing Project and the Idaho SDE to deliver training on the Common Core State Standards to all Idaho teachers. That training will take place June 26-28 on the University of Idaho campus, Moscow.
For more information on NIWP or the Summer Institute, contact Duvall at: firstname.lastname@example.org