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Writing symposium for area teachers

The University of Mississippi’s Center for Writing and Rhetoric will host its second annual Transitioning to College Writing symposium for high school and college teachers on Friday and Saturday.

The symposium’s focus is to help teachers from local high schools, community colleges and others in the area understand what academic writing entails at The University of Mississippi. It will also allow teachers to exchange ideas that they can take back to the classroom and discuss how to meet the needs of students to improve their writing.

“Conversation, mutual respect and understanding, building relationships — those are really key,” said Alice Myatt, associate director for the CWR and chair of the Symposium Program Planning Committee.

Myatt works closely with Ellen Shelton, director of The University of Mississippi Writing Project, which will co-produce the symposium with the CWR.

The event will feature several visiting scholars, including Chris Anson, professor of English at North Carolina State University.

“He has far-ranging interests, all centered on what it means for college students to be writing,” Myatt said. “Not just writing in the academic setting, but also to take the skills that they learn and move forward with it in their professional work, in their scholarly work, in just their writing for life.”

Visiting scholars will address specific topics on writing, and teachers will also have “cluster sessions” in which they will identify an issue and discuss interventions and strategies for the classroom.

“We discovered last year that that was one of the most popular things we did,” Myatt said. “Our work is enriched when we hear and listen to each other and we talk about our work.”

The symposium will also offer a roundtable discussion and idea exchange workshop in which teachers can share teaching methods and seek advice on ways to improve.

“Because we are writing teachers, we are always on the lookout to make writing more interesting to students in the classroom — more effective in the classroom,” Wyatt said. “What we’re inviting attendees to do is bring along their ideas and assignments for sharing.”

The event will begin with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Friday in the Union Ballroom and will conclude at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

To register for the symposium, teachers can call 662-915-2121 or email cwr@olemiss.edu.