About GNOWP

For 35 years, the Greater New Orleans Writing Project at the University of New Orleans has been a site of the National Writing Project, an organization dedicated to improving writing and the teaching of writing throughout the Greater New Orleans area and the nation. We achieve our goals through teacher collaboration, inquiry into best practices, and support of teacher-writers and student-writers in New Orleans area classrooms.
Read More

April 17 & 18, 2015
9am-6:30pm
2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148

WriteFest presents: The 2015 NWP Urban Sites Network Conference

Join us in New Orleans for the 2015 National Writing Project Urban Sites Conference, presented by WriteFest and The Greater New Orleans Writing Project! We will explore ways to empower urban students through writing pedagogy, with a focus on the educational climate in New Orleans and on student publishing. On Friday, the event will feature Read More

More Info Register

GNOWP BLOG

Our First Write@UNO Workshop!

Sarah DeBacher | October 21, 2014

Our first Write@UNO workshop of the year was a huge success! We hosted fifteen young writers from schools around New Orleans for a day of tutoring and craft classes. Andy Young hosted our poetry class, in which students were asked to write praise poems in the style of Kevin Young’s “Ode to the Hotel Near Read More

Creativity

On Creativity

Sarah DeBacher | October 21, 2013

This entry comes to us from GNOWP allstar Ari Zeiger. Ari attended the Summer Institute in 2012, co-facilitated it in 2013, and teaches writing (brilliantly!) at Delgado Community College. ### In this short video, Sir Ken Robinson discourses on a range of subjects (from creativity to education to imagination). At last count, I’ve watched the Read More

130521155230-one-time-use---ap-oklahoma-city-school-story-top

May There Be Pens, May There Be Paper

Sarah DeBacher | May 21, 2013

“Writing is both a challenge and an extreme exigency—that is, it is both called forth by and constitutes the trauma. But writing both exceeds and is inadequate to the task; it is both unavoidable and impossible.”— Peter and Maureen Daly Goggin, Trauma and the Teaching of Writing (2005).

In my attic there is box containing hundreds of magnets I collected from curb-side refrigerators after Hurricane Katrina. I’d been fortunate enough to have a home to return to, but when I was allowed to return to New Orleans in October of 2005, the city was virtually unrecognizable. The visual landscape was so disrupted, so disruptive, that it made its way into horrifying underwater nightmares I couldn’t shake. Even when I dreamt lucidly, I was unable to wake myself, my subconscious seemingly aware that the waking-world would provide no comfort. What on earth was this? How on earth could this have happened? I spent my days in a kind of stupor, and yet the collection of refrigerator magnets and documentation of their sites gave me a kind of purpose. I had no idea what I would do with the magnets. I still don’t. I just needed to do something.

School began. I got busy with the work of teaching—an immense comfort and immense burden, both. My classes took place online, but internet connectivity was spotty, at best. Regular power outages plunged us into darkness and we shuffled out onto stoops to visit with others who’d returned, to share stories about how we’d “made out in the storm.”

My students had it much worse than I did. Before that semester began, I’d grown accustomed to the usual range of excuses for late work: dead grandmothers (so many dead grandmothers!), flat tires, printers without ink, etc. But this semester the excuses punched me in the gut. “I lost my job, my home, everything. Can I please have an extension on Essay 2?” Yes. Yes! I remember feeling like my every teacherly choice that semester was Really Effing Important. What would I assign? How could I respond ethically and empathetically to students whose lives had been—like mine—upended entirely? (I wrote about the experience of teaching after Hurricane Katrina in an article that appeared in Reflections in 2007.)

Today I’ve been thinking about the texts I produced in the immediate aftermath of Katrina (although I’ve learned that a more accurate way of putting it is “in the aftermath of the failure of the federal levees.) I’ve been thinking about that box of magnets and the blogging I did and the writing I assigned, and the emails I sent, and how my words helped me heal but also plunged me right back into the depths of despair, too.

The Latest

Greater New Orleans Writing Project

WriteFest is NATIONAL this year! 13 of our 16 panels feature National Writing Project Teacher Consultants from across the U.S. Register and come away with strategies to invigorate writing in your classrooms--K-college, Math to ELA. Registration closes April 15th. Here's where you can get tickets: www.gnowp.org

Greater New Orleans Writing Project | improving writing and the teaching of writing

www.gnowp.org

For 35 years, the Greater New Orleans Writing Project at the University of New Orleans has been a site of the National Writing Project, an organization dedicated to improving writing and the teaching of writing throughout the Greater New Orleans area and the nation. We achieve our goals through teac…

Today at 5:53pm • No Comments

"One of the main factors is the issue of voice, and having say, and being able to to have input into the key decisions in the building that affect a teacher's job. This is something that is a hallmark of professions. It's something that teachers usually have very little of, but it does vary across schools and it's very highly correlated with the decision whether to stay or leave."

The Hidden Costs Of Teacher Turnover

npr.org

Constant churn costs billions. Professor Richard Ingersoll says schools can fix this without spending a dime.

Mar 31st 10:51pm • No Comments

This deadline has been extended to April 6th. So, teachers: write your stories!

Becoming a Teacher | Creative Nonfiction

creativenonfiction.org

For a new anthology, In Fact Books is seeking true stories exploring and reflecting on the process of becoming a teacher.

Mar 31st 10:36pm • No Comments

We can do it!

Feminist Heroes to Teach Kids Their ABCs in Badass New Picturebook

portside.org

Why just learn your ABCs when you can be empowered by them? A new illustrated children’s book from iconic City Lights press, Rad American Women A-Z, offers kids the chance to educate themselves on women’s history and the alphabet at the same time. Written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Kle…

Mar 31st 5:33pm • No Comments