Teaching and Assessing Writing in an Equitable, Responsive, and Student-Centered Classroom

Sep 25, 2020 9:00AM—11:30AM

Cost $1050 members; $900 group-rate; $1575 non-members

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Teaching and Assessing Writing in an Equitable, Responsive, and Student-Centered Classroom

SESSION 1: September 25, 2020 | 9:00am - 11:30am

SESSION 2: October 27, 2020 | 1:00pm - 3:30pm

SESSION 3: January 22, 2021 | 9:00am - 11:30am

SESSION 4: March 5, 2021 | 1:00pm - 3:30pm

SESSION 5: April 27, 2021 | 9:00am - 11:30am


This ongoing program seeks to create a community of learners that will explore these essential questions and collaborate on equitable practices in the humanities classroom: 

  • In the era of COVID and in an election year, how can teachers be responsive to the changing needs of students? 
  • What kind of assessment practices support an equitable, student-centered classroom, and how do those practices need to shift in the distance learning environment? 
  • How do we make the implicit explicit by getting students to understand and articulate the “why” of their writing choices in both argumentative and creative writing?

In each session there will be time set aside to apply new learning to your unique context. 

Participants will explore:

  • Utilizing SEL practices to invite the whole student into the classroom
  • Centering collaboration via the workshop model
  • Co-creating rubrics
  • Cultivating writing opportunities that feel meaningful to the student
  • Designing assessment practices that support risk-taking, fumbling, and learning from their mistakes

We will begin with a focus on community building, as well as an introduction to the workshop model. From there we’ll dive into research behind various assessment practices and spend time reflecting on which practices uphold our values as educators. Between meetings, we will share readings and screencasts that will prepare participants to fully engage in our time together. Throughout, we will provide space to share case studies and to apply our learning to your own classroom setting. We will workshop challenges and celebrate successes. 

This series is designed for 7th-12th grade humanities teachers, humanities department chairs, academic deans, and directors of 21st century learning. New teachers as well as mid-career and veteran teachers interested in reassessing their approach to teaching writing are welcome.



Melissa Mirza taught English for eight years at San Francisco University High School. At UHS, Melissa taught 9th grade English as well as junior and senior electives of her own design. She and her colleague, Jessica Osorio, pioneered an experiment that shook up how the department teaches writing. In 2018-2019, Melissa led UHS’s strategic design work on assessment, creating a framework to evaluate how well teacher practices promote and measure student learning. Melissa also served as a mentor coach for three years, leading grade-wide student support teams. Outside of UHS, Melissa has led equity workshops on topics related to Islam and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) at schools and conferences all over the country. She is the Dean of Faculty at The Bay School.


Jessica Osorio is beginning her fifth year of teaching English at San Francisco University High School. She teaches ninth grade English as well as junior and senior seminar courses of her own design. Outside of the classroom, Jessica coaches faculty as a mentor for new English teachers and as the Ninth Grade Mentor Coach, supporting a team of nine faculty advisors and managing grade-wide student support. She was a facilitator in UHS’ strategic work on assessment, collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of co-leaders to dive into research and re-evaluate the school’s assessment practices. She is a member of the admissions committee and the advisor to UHS’ Latinx student affinity group. Jessica is an alumna of University High School and The Hamlin School.

Cancellation Policy

Life happens. We understand that there will be times when you cannot attend a workshop that you have registered and paid for. We strive to be as helpful and flexible as possible when things out of your control happen. Please visit our FAQ page for detailed information about our cancellation policy and answers to frequently asked questions about enrollment and membership.