Building capacity through collaboration.

WriteBoston grounds its relationships with schools and partners in compelling questions. We believe that the work of education is powerful and complex and we are drawn to dilemmas of practice—“Why are students still turning in paint-by-numbers writing?” “How can we help students who are struggling readers engage in writing with complex text and ideas?” “How do we make sure we are doing right by our students who are English Language Learners?” “How do we successfully meet the Common Core’s call for greater text and task complexity?”

Our model

When school buildings closed due to COVID-19, our practice evolved rapidly alongside that of teachers. Our instructional team developed five criteria for teaching in the midst of uncertainty: flexibility, simplicity, interest, consistency, and connection. These tenants continue to guide our work as schools and classrooms operate in virtual and hybrid formats. During the 2020-21 school year, we are working remotely with partner schools and offering free workshops to educators in Gateway Cities. Though remote programming presents many new challenges, we believe this is a powerful opportunity to re-visit teaching practice with an even deeper focus and commitment to centering student engagement and student experience in the classroom.  Read more about our recent work with teachers on our blog.

Our model for powerful partnerships emphasizes flexibility and accountability. We value the expertise and professionalism that educators bring to their classrooms, schools, and districts and seek to empower them in their work. Download an overview of our model.

We do not believe in a single curriculum or one size fits all professional development. Our goal is the kind of deep growth that requires buy-in and understanding at every level of a school or organization. Our toolkit of support includes:

WriteBoston coaches work with teachers – both new and experienced – to teach their content through targeted literacy strategies (writing, of course, but listening, speaking, and reading as well). These methods promote students’ critical thinking and meaning making. Coaches provide resources and professional development to keep teachers learning and improving their practice. What coaching looks like can vary:

  • A coach meets one-on-one with teachers during planning periods to help develop units and lessons, create assessments, and devise effective teaching strategies. The coach then follows up in the classroom with co-teaching or observation.
  • A coach meets weekly with a department or teacher teams to provide workshops, reflect on student work, and develop and align school-wide language and practices.
  • A coach facilitates school-wide professional development on a particular aspect of literacy across the curriculum.

Read about a successful coaching partnership at Boston Community Leadership Academy.

Schools and districts that employ embedded coaches know that coaching can be demanding—and often isolating. With an expert staff of instructional leaders who possess extensive coaching experience, WriteBoston is able to support literacy coaches in their daily work of translating literacy best practices into actionable supports and strategies that can be shared with classroom teachers.

Tasked with wearing multiple hats, coaching requires a body of content knowledge around instruction broadly, and literacy specifically. At the same time, effective coaches also know how to work with adults to advance their learning. That can be a tall order, even for the most skilled educators.

Based on the needs of our partners, WriteBoston strengthens the capacity of school and district coaches around both content and coaching strategies that enable them to deepen their impact on classroom instruction.

Read about a successful partnership that includes coaching-the-coach support.

Professional development done well—responsive to authentic needs, deeply tied to implementation, and delivered with an awareness of who’s in the classroom—can lead to real change. WriteBoston provides workshops on a broad range of topics, all tailored or created specifically for the particular context of the partner.

WriteBoston pairs skillful workshops with implementation support such as modeling, co-planning sessions, and short-term coaching, to ensure that the practices and strategies at the core of the workshops become a part of daily classroom instruction and truly reach students.

We support educators across disciplines and content areas, with the knowledge that developing strong literacy skills happens across department and school buildings.

As an external partner, we have the unique opportunity to maintain a strategic focus on literacy in all its forms—and to ensure that the work of educators across all levels of the school ecosystem (teachers, building coaches, principals and district leaders) are aligned, coordinated and supporting powerful instructional practices in the classroom.

This work can include administrator versions of teacher/coach workshops, support aligning evaluation with instructional best practices, learning walks and literacy audits all geared towards creating impact and coherence across schools and districts.

WriteBoston has partnered with approximately 50 schools, districts, and nonprofit organizations to increase student achievement and foster students as writers: flexible, thoughtful communicators and problem solvers. We work closely with our partners to help them unpack the questions they are wrestling with, to understand the implications for students, and to develop a measurable plan of action.