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Catherine Killingsworth is the executive director of Deep, a nonprofit organization that offers free writing programs to public school students in Savannah, Georgia. Ms. Killingsworth also serves as one of our newest TeacherReady teacher candidates entering the program February 2012. Check out her blog “That Writing Lady: Practical Tips for Teaching Writing” at http://thatwritinglady.com.

It is outstanding to see Catherine translate her writing and research experience to assignments in the TeacherReady program. Most recently, she reflected on the idea that “effective teachers use research-based practices” from How to Be an Effective Teacher: The First Days of School (Wong & Wong, 2005); she writes:

I am a research junkie. In fact, I love research so much that I keep a blog for English teachers on the latest research and best practices for writing instruction (www.thatwritinglady.com). I am constantly reading NCTE journals and other teaching guides, and I plan on keeping up this habit when I am a full-time teacher.  I see no need to re-invent the wheel; I would rather beg, borrow, and steal proven lesson plans from other successful teachers any day. In addition to the more serious research and journals that I plan on reading, I will consult resources like readwritethink.org and scholastic.com at least once a week to find great lessons that match the learning goals I have for my students.

Grounding her teaching strategies in research and professional knowledge is not all! In a separate assignment Catherine extended a classroom management strategy (Name Cards on individual desks) to student learning (feedback/formative assessment):

I plan on assigning seats and having a name card on everyone’s desk. My plan is to use standing name cards that are double-sided–one side yellow and one side green—with the name on both sides. These name cards will also serve as signal that students can use to let me know when they need help during independent work (green side towards me means they are working well, yellow towards me means that they have a question). The additional benefit of using name cards is that it will be very easy to change assigned seating without causing confusion; I can place the name cards on the appropriate desks before the class begins and instruct students to sit wherever I have placed their card.

Catherine is an example of one of the many talented professionals who turn to the TeacherReady alternative certification program to earn a professional teaching certificate. It is exciting to highlight her in today’s blog. More importantly, we recognize that as teachers Catherine and her classmates are what will make great schools, as teachers are the number one influencing factor affecting student learning. We look forward to seeing their continued development to become better and better teachers.


Quoted from Catherine’s Blog: Catherine Killingsworth is the executive director of Deep, a nonprofit that offers free writing programs to public school students in Savannah, Georgia. She earned a B.A. in English at Yale University, where she graduated magna cum laude and won the Curtis Prize, the Wright Prize for Nonfiction Writing, and the Seymour Lustman Prize for Arts and Culture. She studied creative writing at Cambridge University as a Thouron scholar. She is the author of The Cure for IDK, Deep’s book of writing lesson plans. Follow Catherine’s blog at http://thatwritinglady.com.

TeacherReady is a state approved professional teacher certification program accredited by NCATE. To learn more about TeacherReady visit us online at http://teacherready.org and on Facebook.