It all began in junior high, with a diary. Those little books that come with a lock and a key. In reality, the look is irrelevant; someone who really wanted to read the secrets within would be able to do so. Brenda bought this diary, and used it to write about cute boys and happenings with friends. Soon, the diary seemed too confining, the space too small to contain her thoughts. She switched to black and white composition books, filling those with her experiences in high school and college.
College brought new writing challenges. Brenda enjoyed journaling, it helped her to sort out problems and served as a source of memory. Academic writing was a bit different. Her freshman composition instructor was one of those who seemed determined to discourage his students. His comments made Brenda feel like an inadequate writer. As a college student in liberal arts, writing was important, so she persevered.
In her junior year, her ideas about the quality of her academic writing changed. A professor commented that her writing style was enjoyable and easy to read. It was the first real positive thing she had heard about her writing; it gave her hope. A friend covertly read one of her in-progress papers and predicted that she would get an A. He was right. Finally, in a course taught by the head of her department, she received an A on her research paper. At that point, she knew she was a good writer.
Brenda found a job teaching. Most of her writing at that time was lesson plans, comments on papers, and notes home. She enrolled in a Masters program, and once again faced academic writing. This times she was more confident and was able to write the papers, including an extensive research paper, without too much stress.
Currently, Brenda is halfway through a doctoral program in transformational leadership. She has written weekly papers, discussion board posts and responses, and other projects. For her job, she writes a b-monthly newsletter designed to give instructional tips to teachers in order to improve learning for English Language Learners. She is also in the process of starting a blog.
Brenda has come a long way from the girl who wrote about cute boys in her diary and worried that her writing wasn't good enough. She overcame early discouragement and doubt. Due to her recent writing experiences, she is confident in her ability to write effectively and create interest in the reader.
Brenda had experience in urban education, literacy instruction, ESL, co-teaching, and professional development. She has worked with middle and high school students; some of these students were refugees, others were immigrants or were born in the U.S. Brenda is enrolled in a doctoral program in transformational leadership where she is studying learning organizations and organizational development.
Brenda is interested in many different things. She follows several education blogs to keep up with news on school privatization, standardized assessment, and the use of value-added measures among other topics. She is fascinated by brain science and learning about what motivates us. Aside from education matters, Brenda loves Greyhounds (she has 2 former racers), mystery novels, Harry Potter, and Penn State football. She is also a fan of sci-fi movies, the TV show Firefly, and Downton Abbey.
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