I was so excited to take two workshops with Julia Torres (https://juliaetorres.blog/ )this spring through Heinemann publications and educational services. When I read her bio on their website (https://www.heinemann.com/) I knew I wanted to be a part of whatever she was offering. Here’s an excerpt:
Julia E. Torres is a veteran language arts teacher and librarian in Denver Public schools. As a teacher/activist committed to education as a practice of freedom, her practice is grounded in the work of empowering students to use language arts to fuel resistance and positive social transformation. Julia was awarded the 2020 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Teacher of Excellence award and currently serves teachers as part of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE board of directors. Julia facilitates workshops and professional conversations about anti-bias/anti-racist education, social justice, and culturally sustaining pedagogies in language arts, as well as digital literacy and librarianship.
I am so thankful for the practical and inspiring material she provided with these mini-workshops:
Growing Writers from Readers – Empowering Ways to Jumpstart Creativity
Simple, Sustainable Strategies for Reading Engagement
I used ideas from those two workshops to create reading and writing surveys that enhanced the relationships I’ve worked hard to develop with students this school year. Julia’s clear and concise teaching also pushed me to help students find avenues for publishing their work and strengthen those foundational building blocks I want in my classroom, showcasing “real life” writing. They totally get it: reading and writing aren’t things you just do at school. They are integral parts of a full and passionate life.