Two AHS Teachers Published in Teachers & Writers Magazine


Lindsay Martin, reporter

On April 12, 2022, Arrowhead High School English teachers Terri Carnell and Elizabeth Jorgensen were published in Teachers & Writers Magazine with their piece “Nature’s Wonder: Finding Creativity and Connecting Writing to the Natural World.


Jorgensen had an idea—to write an article about hers and Carnell’s nature-oriented lesson plan.  Carnell said she “was enthusiastic and interested in writing about our nature project,” and so, they began writing. 


The article opens by describing their high school students’ childhoods—time spent outside.  The introduction paragraph ends by listing other commitments and interests they have now and things that keep them from enjoying the outdoors.


Jorgensen and Carnell took their students on nature walks during their creative writing classes.  Their article contains several quotes from students’ observations, as well as photos taken on the walk.


The article takes readers on a journey through one class’s creative process: going on the walk outside, taking photos and making observations, and then reading their observations out loud, creating a free-verse poem, and making revisions. The collaborative, class poem is available to read in the article.


Jorgensen has been teaching creative writing courses at Arrowhead for seventeen years, and Carnell began teaching creative writing courses a couple of years ago.


Jorgensen reminds students and aspiring writers that writing and publishing a piece is not an easy process. “I want my students to know that not everything they write will get published. So many of my pieces were rejected, but I just keep working at improving my craft and keep on writing and submitting my pieces,” she says.  


The article then discusses another activity the class did together, as well as the benefits from their time spent outside.


This published piece took almost the entire 2021-2022 school year to compose and publish.  Their first draft was submitted on November 5, 2021 (after having worked on it for a few weeks).  On December 8, 2021, Teachers & Writers informed them that they wanted to publish the piece.  On April 12, 2022, the article was finally published after going through several weeks worth of editing.


Jorgensen says she hopes her “students realize how long it takes to write, edit and work with a publication.”  Some of her students have been able to experience this, as they have submitted pieces written in class to publications, and become published authors themselves.


This is not Jorgensen’s first work published through Teachers & Writers; on September 3, 2020, her article “Korean Poetry Competition Motivates Students to Write” was published.  


Carnell and Jorgensen continue to write and teach creatively, and inspire their students by doing so.