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Behind the Scenes at Two Writing Teachers

orchestra

In a darkened concert hall, the members of an orchestra sit ready and waiting. The conductor, in black and white coat-tails walks across the stage, gives an appreciative nod to the audience, then steps up to the podium and lifts her arms, signaling the beginning. As her hand marks the first few measures, the music cascades in big, full, harmonic chords. Each member of the orchestra plays the piece perfectly, in one voice.

What the audience doesn’t see, and would never guess, are the countless auditions, rehearsals, deadlines, and do-overs that made that night’s concert possible. Though the music reaches the audience’s ears in one fluid melody, it is composed of a hundred separate instruments’ parts, each musician bringing her own hard work, her own unique talents and skills, contributing to success on concert night.

What you may not realize, as a reader of Two Writing Teachers, is that there is a secret world of work behind the scenes, all coming together to make our blog work. Much like the musicians in an orchestra, each of us brings our own set of skills and talents. Like a night at the orchestra, there is a coordinated effort. At Two Writing Teachers, ours is accomplished via emails, phone calls, Google Chats, and shared calendars. There is planning, far in advance for every blog series, Twitter chat, Tuesday Slice of Life challenge, and the March Slice of Life Challenge. Each of us plays our part.

You also might not know that all of this is coordinated by our fearless leader, Stacey Shubitz. Stacey co-founded this blog in 2007 with Ruth Ayres (thus the name Two Writing Teachers). When Ruth moved on in 2013, Stacey conducted an extensive search to find a balance of teachers and coaches to create a diverse group of bloggers from across the United States. That’s when Tara, Betsy, Anna, Dana, and I joined her. Recently Deb and Kathleen joined our team. All of us volunteer our time to the blog, and contribute as much as we can. But Stacey has been behind the scenes all this time, facilitating and guiding us every step of the way.

A few weeks ago, I offered to “sub” for Stacey, just temporarily. I was astounded at the number of questions Stacey answers daily. I developed a new appreciation for the time she spends moderating, trouble-shooting, and generally taking care of the blog and its readers. I had known from the start that Stacey was a gifted organizer and leader, but my little foray backstage opened my eyes to what it really takes to facilitate a blog that currently has 2,000-3,000 readers a day.

Recently we co-authors met over Google Chat, as we periodically do, to coordinate and plan. As a group we decided that a title that recognizes Stacey as a writer and director would be an appropriate way to credit her for all that she does for the blog, the team, and the readers.

Please join us in congratulating and honoring Stacey, our Chief of Operations and Lead Writer in recognition of her dedicated leadership. She truly is our conductor, bringing together all of our talents so that our voices can shine.

BethMooreSchool View All

Literacy Coach, Consultant, Author, Graduate Course Instructor, and Mom. Passionate about fostering a love of reading and writing in learners of all ages.

28 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes at Two Writing Teachers Leave a comment

  1. This blog has truly gone from great to greater. Stacey had incredible intuition and vision when she decided to expand the team. The time and care that she and the rest of you put into this blog, as well as the generous sharing of ideas, information and tools, continues to amaze me. Thank you Stacey and team TWT.

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  2. What a great gift these comments are from all of you — members of the TWT community. Thank you for taking the time to leave something behind today.

    It is a great privilege to work with Anna, Beth, Betsy, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, and Tara. They are the kind of teachers and coaches who I would want my daughter to have as educators. This is the highest compliment I can pay to anyone since, like most parents, I want only the best for my child.

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  3. And, what amazes me the most and shows how truly gifted Stacey is – is that she makes every one of us feel unique – even if she’s heard our question or thought many, many times from other people. I love that! Congrats on orchestrating such a a beautiful symphony!

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  4. Wow! The comments here are so beautiful and make me feel so proud to be a member of the TWT community and a co-author here (pinch me!). Stacey’s vision, talent, hard work, kindness, and organization have built a very special place for teachers who value writing. This is a strong, caring, passionate community and I am growing so much as a teacher by being here with all of you. Congrats to our Chief of Operations and Lead Writer Stacey! Thank you for creating a home online here for so many of us.

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  5. Stacey your work behind the scenes at Two Writing Teachers is amazing. Thank you for all your hours, ideas and dedication. Your work not only allows our voices to shine, but more than this, this work you conduct supports teachers and students far beyond us! It truly takes a village, thank you for this village sanctuary.

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  6. Thank you, Beth, for your kind words. It is a joy to work with you and the rest of the TWT team!

    Thanks to those who left comments. I am fortunate to work with such great educators. Our blog is a labor of love and it is our pleasure to deliver content (almost) daily. Thank YOU for reading and for being part of our community of educators.

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  7. This blog is one of the best professional development opportunities for teachers available daily and for free! We appreciate all you do everyday…simply because you care!

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  8. I can’t imagine teaching and growing as a workshop educator without this resource. Thank you for all your hard work and the generosity of spirit it reflects. Your work spreads to students all over the country (world?). You are making a difference in literacy education and supporting motivated teachers.

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  9. Recently, we (my district) began a pilot with 30 teachers using Writing Units of Study, the posts from Two Writing Teachers has been timely and we (the other Lit Coach and I) have been sharing them often with the teachers we are working with. Know that Stacey’s work and the work of each one of you is being noticed and felt and appreciated even if we don’t tell you this enough.

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  10. Your blog is the best resource around! It is a combination of your wonderful experiences in the world of teaching writing along with the emotional components that match living a writerly and teacherly life. Thank you Stacey for creating this space as well as all the contributors for continually inspiring and igniting my thinking😊

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  11. I love this blog- it is my favorite. Thank you for all your hard work. It guides my intervention work and coaching. So glad I was introduced to this blog

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  12. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! You all contribute to my professional development and I am very thankful that this blog is available for teachers! Thank you!

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  13. I read every post of your blog and it helps so much. It’s really important for me in particular beacuse I experiment with the Writing Workshop approach in my country, Italy, where I started all alone. You, and all my mentors through their books, were my companions and my guide. Now other Italian colleagues are trying with me, and this adds new people in need of your precious contribution. Your blog is my teaching companion, even from this distance. I feel so grateful because I can only imagine the hard work behind the scenes. I will say thank you a thousand times and it won’t be enough! You’re great Teachers, great erigere and generous souls.

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  14. Yay, Stacey! As one who has had a question or two answered in my time I appreciate all you do. TWT is one of my daily reads and I love the way it has evolved. You all are a well-oiled machine and make it look easy (but thanks for the backstage view). Thanks to all of you for all you do!

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