Professional community

I believe in the power of participating in a professional community of educators. It is far too easy for teachers to become isolated over time and then become frustrated or complacent. When teachers engage with one another in thoughtful, genuine dialogue about how to improve our instruction, we replace frustration and complacency with a sense of purpose and possibility. This dialogue can take many different forms -- whether it occurs on the pages of a professional journal like NCTM's Mathematics Teacher or as part of the Math Twitter Blogosphere (MTBoS), the point is to help teachers connect and engage reflection about their own practice. When teachers take the time to study our own instruction, analyze what works and what doesn't, and then share that information with one another, everybody wins.

Here are some examples of how I've participated in the professional community:

Teacher-Consultant work with the Third Coast Writing Project, 2004-2008

  • Consulted with math departments at Legg Middle School, Coldwater, MI, and Fennville Middle School, Fennville, MI, on how to use rubrics and student samples to improve student writing.
  • Co-presented with Dr. Holly Schaeffer to the science department at Allegan High School, Allegan, MI on how to use writing in the science classroom.
  • Presented on writing-to-learn strategies at Coldwater High School, Coldwater, MI and co-presented at Gull Lake High School, Gull Lake, MI.

EXCERPTS of what Fennville teachers had to say after working with me for the first time:

  • "I thought that we would get a lot more information that I would not use, [but] I got a very usable rubric and checklist to use for grading 'math' writing. I value that the presenter was a 'math' person who understood our needs."
  • "I learned a lot and can put it to use right away."
  • "[I came expecting] frustration [but I ended up valuing the] time spent working together [and] having a speaker who is a math teacher."
  • "Thank you for listening to our needs and focusing our time on something meaningful."
  • "I wish you could always do our writing PD."

Presentations at Conferences

Campbell, P., Gilbert, C., & Hunter, J. (2009, March). Digital storytelling: Multimodal Composition for the 21st Century. Presented at the National Writing Project Rural Sites Network Conference, Kalamazoo, MI.

Campbell, P., & Gilbert, C. (2007, July). Digital storytelling workshop. Presented at Baker College Education Summer Conference, Owosso, MI.

Gilbert, C. (2004, November). Business and technical writing. Presented as part of the session Wake up! – Strategies for making language arts significant for high school students at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Gilbert, C., & Voskil-Rumor, G. (2004, October). Presented Teaching literature using online discussions at Michigan Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference, Lansing, MI.

Gilbert, C., Jaing, T., & Webb, A. (2004, March). Presented Teaching with online archives. Michigan Council of Teachers of English Bright Ideas Conference, Lansing, MI.


Clyde, J., Dannison, S., Gilbert, C., Levy, A., Rozema, R., Rumohr-Voskuil, G., Schnotala, J., et al. (2009). Weighing the options: Public school teaching to doctorate in English education. In A. Webb (Ed.), The doctoral degree in English education. Kennesaw, GA: Kennesaw State University Press.

Gilbert, C., & Rumohr-Voskuil, G. (2004). Turning students on to online discussions. Language Arts Journal of Michigan, 20, 37-40.

Gilbert, C. (2000, Sept-Oct) Ink stains. The Voice, 5.4, 24.

Conferences Attended

  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Regional Conference (Chicago) - 2017
  • Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Annual Conference - 2008
  • Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Two-Day Geometry Institute - 2008
  • National Council of Teachers of English, Annual Conference - 1996, 1997, 2004
  • Michigan Council of Teachers of English, Annual Conference - 2004
  • Bright Ideas Conference, Michigan Council of Teachers of English - 2003, 2004

Third Coast Writing Project Institutes/Trainings Attended

  • Digital Storytelling - 2007
  • Teacher as Writer - 2001
  • Invitational Summer Institute - 2000

Institutes for Teaching of Advanced Placement

  • AP Literature and Composition, Leelanau School, Leelanau, MI - 2006
  • AP Language and Composition, University of Toronto, Toronto, - 2000