Are you a teacher or do you want to be one in the future? A teacher is someone who works with one or more students in any situation, formal or informal, inside or outside of academia, to help those students learn and grow. Do you use writing in your teaching or want to? If your students do any writing at all, or you'd like them to, perhaps you're looking for new ideas and effective ways to teach writing. Are you interested in and open to exploring theories and practices in the teaching of writing and even exploring a little bit of your own writing too? If you can answer yes or even, I think so to these three questions, then the teaching writing specialization is for you. Welcome. I'm Mark Farrington and I'll be the instructor for each of the courses in the specialization. I'm Associate Director of the MA and teaching writing program at Johns Hopkins University. I hold an MFA in fiction writing from George Mason University and a BA in English and American literature from Colby College. I've taught at Johns Hopkins for more than 20 years. First in the MA and writing program and now in teaching writing, a program I designed and I have directed since it first launched in 2016. The teaching writing specialization contains four courses and a final project. We designed teaching writing process to lay a solid foundation for the work covered in these other courses, but it's not necessary to start there and you may take these courses in any order that you wish. Specialization is designed for you, if you are a teacher at any level, K through university in any subject, who uses writing or wishes to use writing more effectively with your students. It's designed for you if you aren't currently teaching, but would like to be a teacher who will use writing in your classes. It's designed for you if you teach or serve as a teacher in any situation inside or outside of an academic environment who uses writing or wants to incorporate writing as part of your teaching. This might include those who are homeschooling, who are teaching private writing classes or workshops, who are tutoring individual students or groups or who work with employees in a business environment to help them improve their writing. If you're a new teacher or a future teacher, you'll be taking the first steps toward creating a solid foundation in the best practices in teaching writing. You'll enter the classroom with a toolbox full of strategies and practices for how to help your students build comfort, confidence, and skill in writing. If you're an experienced teacher, you'll gain some new perspectives and you'll also delve deeper into the practices you might already be using, moving even closer to where you have aligned your goals, values, and beliefs with your teaching practice. In learning not only what works but why it works, you'll be able to use your learning to help other teachers in your school or district and become a teacher leader. You don't have to be an English or a language arts teacher, writing is important in all subjects. If you're a science or math, or social studies teacher, or art or music, you will be doing your students a great service if you also bring writing into your teaching. You don't have to have teaching experience. If you're teaching now, that's great, but as long as you have an interest in teaching in the future, you'll benefit from this specialization. You don't have to be teaching in a formal academic environment. Many of you will teach in public or private schools, but some of you might be homeschooling teachers, or you might teach in prisons, in corporations, in youth organizations, or do private tutoring. You don't have to want to be a professional writer. You might even struggle a bit with writing or finding a chore. One of the most exciting things about these courses is that the strategies and practices you'll learn for helping your students build comfort and confidence as writers can also work for you, all you need is the willingness to try. You don't have to have an advanced degree. There will be a fair amount of reading and writing involved in this specialization, but as long as you have some fluency with the language, you should be fine. In four courses and a project, you'll learn effective theories and practices to teach writing that you can adapt to your own teaching situation and needs. You'll learn how to teach writing as process, how to reach even the most reluctant writers, how to help students construct specific text and make the reading writing connection and how to respond to and assess student writing in ways that are meaningful to both teachers and students. This specialization will provide you with tools and practices you can use with your students right away. The four courses in this specialization are teaching writing process, teaching reluctant writers, teaching texts and forms, and responding to revising and assessing writing. Each one has either three or four modules and each module is intended to last one week and should take 4-6 hours to complete. Each module will contain readings, short videos, practice exercises, as well as a few quizzes and usually a writing exercise to help you consider how you might apply your learning to your current or future teaching situation. Even when a specific lesson isn't geared exactly toward the particular students you teach, you'll learn ways to adapt those ideas and approaches to your own situation. Overall, each course should take between 12 and 20 hours, spread out over three or four weeks. The final project should take three or four hours. Please join me on what I hope will be an exciting and rewarding journey. Welcome again, and let's get started.