In my first year of teaching, I was one of the few new teachers at my school, in one of the few years that we had a full-time literacy coach. For my literacy coach, Gina, and I, this felt like fate.
Gina and I stayed at each other’s sides during writing workshop. Much like the structure of a minilesson, Gina modeled, we practiced together, then I tried on my own as she coached. We spent hours together on Friday afternoons, pouring over beautiful mentor texts, brainstorming new ideas, and browsing through Gina’s professional texts, which she’d loan to me over the weekends.
I became well-versed in the teaching of writing, thanks to Gina. But what I hold most dearly from our time together, is the contagious joy she infused in writing workshop: joy as we wrote alongside children, joy as we kneeled next to young writers and studied their writing, joy as we rallied in excitement during end-of-unit celebrations. Six years later, Gina and I are still dear friends (now living states apart), who talk routinely about writing.
As I began reading Welcome to Writing Workshop, I was instantly brought back to my formative years with Gina. Within the book, readers are gifted personal literacy coaches, writing partners, and friends — Stacey Shubitz and Lynne R. Dorfman become colleagues to share the joy with.