As VTS Trainers working in schools, perhaps one of the most frequent requests we encounter is for more information on how to leverage the types of learning that occur during VTS discussions into other areas of the curriculum. This edition of Site Specific is devoted to a single essay detailing how a school district in Washington uses VTS to support writing, but it is about much more than that: it is also a story of one teacher’s personal transformation leading to a reimagining of classroom culture and, ultimately, a district-wide change in teaching practice. Over time, the thoughtful, reflective practices that VTS cultivates in students and teachers alike enabled Marion Schlicker Bageant and her peers, including Heidi Arbogast, to collaboratively create an instructional method and professional development model called the VTS Writing Lab and VTS Teaching Lab respectively.
I first encountered this work at the Summer Institute Share Outs in 2017 and began using VTS Writing Lab techniques in my own college classroom. The positive effects on students’ writing were immediately noticeable and I have been eager to share this work with the broader community of VTS practitioners ever since. I hope that you will find it as inspiring as I have. —Madison Brookshire
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