Laurie Posner

The Art of Writing – Tips for Teachers Part 1 – Podcast Episode 136 | Classnotes Podcast 136

Classnotes Podcast (March 17, 2014) During many of the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program’s 30 years, students have written essays about how the program has affected their lives and their tutees. For this year’s anniversary celebration, we invited three distinguished authors – San Antonio Poet Laureate, Dr. Carmen Tafolla, Texas State Poet Laureate, Rosemary Catacalos and author, historian, and retired educator, J. Gilberto Quezada – to read the essays and share their impressions.

In this podcast episode, Dr. Tafolla and Mr. Quezada lead a panel discussion reflecting on the essays and how they describe an experience that is transformative for students. A brief intro is provided by Laurie Posner, MPA, an IDRA senior education associate, who also moderated the panel.

Show length: 14:50

Send comments to

Sign up for Classnotes e-mail alerts.


Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Continuities – Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Student Essays

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – Strengthening Student Connections with School 
by Linda Cantú, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

Your feedback

We welcome your comments and questions to the podcast. Send an e-mail to

Listen to every episode!

To ensure you don’t miss a single episode of IDRA Classnotes, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, (download iTunes free if you don’t have it) or sign up to receive an e-mail alert as soon as a new show is published.


Show Notes

  • J. Gilberto Quezada begins by asking, What is writing? paraphrasing Joseph Conrad. He reads an excerpt of a student’s essay and discusses the power of observation reflected in the writing.

  • Dr. Carmen Tafolla talks about her reading of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutor essays. Students this age rarely have a chance to reflect on their lives. She speaks about the contrast between vulnerability and resilience, reading examples from the essays. She talks about research on writing and the importance of “mirroring.”