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Adapting the High School Writing Center Model for Virtual Education, by Cassandra Brownlow

Cassie BCurrently my high school writing center tutors are delivering asynchronous sessions, offering three hours a day of live face-to-face dialogue, and committed to the discussion that is writing. To admit that my tutors are high school students, grades nine through twelve, should not surprise you in that we’ve all seen a movement pushing for writing centers to appear at the secondary level, but what might surprise you is that my high school students are also online learners.There is much assumed about online learners. Many believe they are homeschooled and socially disengaged.

However, contrary to this belief, my students are just the opposite. They are involved, self-learners desiring to participate and engage in their school. As with many high school students who are volunteering hours around the country in high school brick-and-mortar writing center programs available, my online students are doing much the same.

I’ve been a high school English teacher for seven years: four brick-and-mortar, three online. In my former brick-and-mortar high school, the current department chair was establishing a writing center. Brilliance! At that point I did not anticipate that my conversations with her regarding this creation would lead me to adapt the current model of high school brick-and-mortar writing centers to the virtual learning environment. To be honest, at that time I never saw myself as an educator in the virtual education system at all. Now that I’m here, thrust into an incredibly innovative world of limitless possibilities for learning, I’ve found that adapting the model, using brick-and-mortar understandings and data, was quite simple – not messy at all – like many might assume of the online learning world.

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From our Head of School,

I just wanted to share an outstanding accomplishment achieved by one of our GWUOHS faculty members, Cassi Brownlow.  Cassi wrote an article on Adapting the High School Writing Center Model for Virtual Education, which was recently published in the International Writing Centers Association newsletter (see link below).  Join me in congratulating Cassi and thanking her for representing our school in such a positive manner!