December 2013 E-Newsletter

The Superhero That's Going to Save Writing in America

Positions Available at WriteSteps!

TeacherStar! Reminder

Writeteps Freebie: "Teacher Confession" Classroom Poster

Our New Conference Coordinator
"All you can take with you is that which is given away."
~Sign in George Bailey's office from It's a Wonderful Life

The Superhero That is Going to Save Writing in America
We all need a superhero to swoop in once in a while to change the outcome of history and give us hope for a better and brighter future. On the last national writing assessment, less than a quarter of elementary students, and less than a third of 12th graders, could write proficiently. This is a terrible and disheartening statistic. American education needs a superhero right now. This superhero may not be dressed in blue and red, wear a cape, and have the ability to fly, but she does have a special super power that will change the world. Her name is Common Core Standards, and it is exactly what America needs to turn around writing in our schools.

Writing has been neglected. Anyone that disagrees just needs to look at the most recent writing results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The Common Core Standards are going to improve student writing proficiency by providing a benchmark for teachers to follow that will create a clear, concise, and consistent framework for students across the nation, no matter what their socioeconomic status. Currently, educational standards in America are a patchwork of assessments and learning standards. Writing standards mean something different in California, or Florida, or Illinois. Common Core is the corridor to consistency. The Common Core is going to raise the bar and ask students to think like writers and demand more from students than ever before. Students will be challenged and pushed. Greatness doesn't come easy. The Common Core is the catalyst that is going to spur the greatness we need.

Every hero has his arch nemesis and team of villains set out to destroy him. The villain here is the back lash from the public, politicians, and educators who oppose the Common Core. Teachers are concerned about teaching a program that has never been tested on public school students. Yes, this can be a scary thought, but without change, nothing great would ever be achieved. Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." We need to change education now, more than ever before. Our current way of teaching isn't working. Now is the time for change. Another concern of parents and educators is the idea that the Common Core is a ploy by major publishers to use it as a way to sell material and make a profit. Though I can't speak for other companies out there, I can speak for myself.

Writing is my passion in life. WriteSteps was not developed out of a desire for profit. It evolved from a desire to help teachers and students. Writing is a difficult subject to teach. Without help, it takes a huge commitment and a long time to do it well. I took a pay cut when I decided to focus on writing instruction and WriteSteps. But knowing there's a world of students finding their writing voices is enormously gratifying. You can't put a price on seeing the way students' eyes light up when they finish a writing piece. It is my dream to see 100% of America's students proficient in writing by the time they graduate. One-third of graduating 12th graders proficient in writing is just not good enough. We can't sit back and be idle about this. I want to continue sharing WriteSteps with teachers around the country until that goal has been reached.

I don't want any teacher, anywhere, to be limited by an incomplete view of writing. This is what Common Core writing demands and why it is the superhero that is going to save writing. Superheroes have a way of showing up just in the nick of time when we feel like all hope is lost. Thank you Common Core-you are the champion we need.

Dedicated to writing success,
Suzanne Klein
Founder and CEO of WriteSteps


WriteSteps is Hiring!
Flickr Photo Credit: photologue_np
We are a virtual company that is made up of positive people with great energy who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of teachers and children. If you think you are a good fit for the following positions, send an email with the job title as the subject line, and your resume to: [email protected].

Awareness Ambassador (Northern New Jersey; San Francisco Bay area, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Boston, MA; Albany, NY; Denver, CO; Louisiana; and Kentucky)
If you are a former K-5 teacher, principal, or literacy specialist and an outgoing, passionate, warm, self-motivated, organized, computer literate go-getter, this job may be for you!

Responsibilities:
  • Meet with teachers, principals, and curriculum directors in person, on the phone, and in video conference calls
  • Make cold calls in person and on the phone
  • Follow up on warm leads with emails, phone calls, and in-person visits
  • Communicate with prospects to answer questions and guide them through the ordering process
  • Communicate with office staff to facilitate delivery of quotes and orders
  • Take initiative to spread the word in your personal network
Pay is straight commission on all sales. Our program integrates best practices in teaching and writing and generates excitement among educators. We are looking for a candidate with strong relationship building capacities, excellent communication skills, a sales aptitude, and the ability to work independently.

Requirements:
Statewide travel, your own computer, reliable high-speed internet, and a background in teaching or school leadership. In rare cases, experience just in sales may be substituted for teaching experience.

Professional Development Coaches
WriteSteps is growing quickly. We find ourselves in need of additional Professional Development coaches to meet the increased demand. We believe coaching is an important component of our program, and are searching for someone who is familiar with WriteSteps.

Responsibilities:
  • Meet with grade level groups (virtually or in-person) to provide advice and guidance to teachers with their use of WriteSteps.
  • A potential coach will shadow our current coach until the trainee has seen a wide variety of situations.
  • Provide professional development to teachers across grades K-5 to assist them with implementing WriteSteps in their classrooms.
Requirements:
Teachers who have taught WriteSteps (not employed full-time) and have experience teaching lessons across many grade levels, especially with a working knowledge of the WriteSteps curriculum across grades K-5.

Language Arts State Adoption Manager
We are currently seeking a State Adoption Manager. The job requires that the manager stay current with all "Language Arts" state adoption schedules and requirements, meets time sensitive deadlines, and facilitates the completion of the adoption process from the initial contact through the actual adoption. This person will also be in charge of getting WriteSteps into statewide Learning Management systems (i.e. iLearnOhio).

The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of the state adoption process and an understanding of the importance of meeting all state deadlines.

Don't forget about our TeacherStar Initiative!
In an effort to increase our videos to teach the nation's teachers, any teacher who submits a video we publish on eWriteSteps, will receive $200.00! This is an opportunity for you to make an impact outside of your classroom.

For an example, you can watch the modeled video on Informative Writing, submitted by Sara Ball-Vadeboncourer, here.

For additional details, click here.

Freebie: "Teacher Confession" Classroom Poster
Do you think of your students almost as if they're your own kids? Many teachers do. After spending a year together, your students become more than just a class list; they become a huge part of your heart. Hang this poster in your classroom next to your "More Than a Teacher" poster and "Writing is a Voyage of Discovery" poster.



WriteSteps Welcome Sonja Revolinski!
We are excited to welcome our new Conference Coordinator, Sonja, to the WriteSteps team! Sonja will organize all aspects associated with the planning of conferences. She submits all conference exhibit applications, presentation proposals, and coordinates the allocation of exhibit supplies.

Sonja has a Bachelors Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management with several years of experience in the hotel industry, which is useful to her role as Conference Coordinator. She knows what hotels and conference sites are looking for, which helps make our conferences run smoothly.

Outside of work, Sonja enjoys baking (especially with Christmas cookie season here!), knitting, and reading.

Sending warm wishes of peace and happiness to all of The Inspired Writer readers and their families this Holiday Season!




"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."
~Nelson Mandela