I am now in my 27th year as a full-time educator and part-time teacher trainer, and I consider my specialty area to be writing instruction.
As teacher, I have taught mostly in the Language Arts arena, which included exciting assignments to teach not just reading and writing, but also journalism, speech & debate, drama, mythology, etymology, and desktop publishing.
As a teacher-trainer, I have developed and taught dozens and dozens of workshops and created long-term professional development workshops for not only writing instruction but also differentiated instruction, formative and summative assessment, Marzano, Tomlinson, and Silver & Strong strategies, as well as standards-based lesson design.
For seven years, I served as the Director of our local chapter of the National Writing Project: The Northern Nevada Writing Project
After earning my Master's Degree in Educational Technology, I created and still maintain two popular websites for teachers seeking innovative techniques for teaching writing: WritingFix (http://writingfix.com) and Always Write (http://corbettharrison.com) Every summer and fall and spring break for the past six years, I have traveled out of state to share my unique ideas and frameworks for designing quality writing lessons. You can find out how to have your district or school hire me for such workshops at the Always Write website. I am also an adjunct professor at my local university, specializing in graduate-level courses on curriculum design, especially curriculum design for special populations.
No worksheets! No low-level memorization of vocabulary lists! No lectures! Not sit-and-get or spray-and-pray dissemination of content! I simply cannot teach things at the bottom two levels of Bloom's taxonomy anymore without feeling horribly guilty. In the depth versus coverage world, I am all about the depth.
In my classroom, we "workshop" everything we are learning, including the boring things, like grammar and paragraphing. Each student is a valuable member of our classroom community, and each student is aware of his/her strengths and knows he/she is expected to give it their all. We must be doing something right in my classroom. My students' portfolios (as well as those pesky state testing scores) are always impressing my administration, and I am regularly asked to present my ideas at other school districts around the nation.
You know, I have won many honors over the years from both national and local organizations, but the best rewards I receive take the form of my students' thank you cards at the end of each school year, their parents notes to me, and the kind emails from teachers who use my two sites (Always Write and WritingFix) send me. Here's one such note from last week from a teacher named Tiffany: "I am blown away by the phenomenal ideas on your site, your generosity in sharing, and all of the hard work I can see as an experienced teacher." That, to me, beats any certificate or plaque I can hang on my wall.
K-5th grades in Fresno, California.
6th-12th in Reno, Nevada.
I earned both my Bachelors and Master's Degree locally, from the University of Nevada-Reno, where I now work as an adjunct professor every summer.
For seven years, I was lead instructor in 700-level graduate courses for teachers at our local university, and those were some of the best summers of my career because of the connections I made with amazing, local teachers.
When I am off contract time for my school district, I am always developing and teaching online classes for the University of Nevada-Reno's College of Education and Department of Extended Studies. My favorite online class is "Differentiated Curriculum Design for Gifted & Talented Learners." It's not just for Gifted & Talented teachers; it's for anyone interested in increasing rigor in their curriculum, and I love inspiring that in my fellow educators.
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Writing-Expository, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, Specialty, Arts & Music, Visual Arts, Other (ELA), Critical Thinking, Classroom Management, Writing, Reading Strategies, Poetry, Tools for Common Core, For All Subjects