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New Book Guides Teachers in How to Reach Students Affected by Life’s Traumas

Longtime writing instructor Richard Koch shares his methods for helping students break through their fears and become active learners in this guidebook released by Dog Ear Publishing.

Pittsburgh, PA, September 05, 2019 --( Students of today differ from their predecessors in many ways, including the increased effects of stress and trauma on their young lives. Already confronted by stress and trauma, students then face a meaningless, high-stress atmosphere of standardized testing and prepping for such tests in school. Educator Richard Koch points out these threats to education in a new book released by Dog Ear Publishing, offering methods to reach students affected by these issues.

“The Mindful Writing Workshop: Teaching in the Age of Stress and Trauma” provides a roadmap for writing instructors to reach students, providing insights necessary for educators to adapt how they teach writing to their students. Koch, who has more than 30 years of experience with the National Writing Project, shares techniques that will help engage students in the process. The best news, he believes, is that when we “tune” the writing workshop toward trauma-informed practice, this not only serves students who have experienced trauma but also is best for improving writing quality for all students.

Koch’s book aims to coach educators “toward engaging, powerful, and healing teacher-student talk,” he writes. Chapters cover such things as dialogic teaching, scaffolding consciously and consistently, and creating a “doing” classroom that emphasizes interaction and partnerships. Mindful teaching, he explains, involves becoming aware of student needs and striving to meet those needs by the way instructors teach.

As he points out, students who face abuse, neglect, bullying, homelessness, food insecurity and neighborhood violence may lash out, skip school or sit passively in class. He explains how a workshop classroom, tuned by trauma-informed practices, can help traumatized students to heal and become able to focus on learning.

Koch has taught writing at the University of Iowa and Adrian College in Michigan, where he is professor of English emeritus. He has worked with the National Writing Project in Iowa and Michigan, directing the Southeast Michigan Writing Project.

The author, who now lives in Pittsburgh, co-wrote “The Portfolio Guidebook” with Jean Petterson and has published articles on teaching in journals such as Language Arts, English Journal and English Education. He serves on the core leadership of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh.

For additional information, please visit

The Mindful Writing Workshop: Teaching in the Age of Stress and Trauma
Richard Koch
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-6812-1 264 pages $23.00 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

Dog Ear Publishing partners with authors to shape content that resonates with readers as diverse as the books we publish. Dog Ear Publishing is headquartered in Indianapolis and can be contacted at (317) 228-3656 or through
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