University of Minnesota
center for writing

Center for Writing alumni—Johanna Mueller

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11 Questions for Center for Writing Alums

  • Johanna MuellerYour name: Johanna Mueller
  • Your email:
  • When did you work with us? Fall 2008 to Spring 2012 
  • What was your role? writing consultant
  • What education and/or occupation(s) have you pursued since working with us? After completing the Initial Licensure Program in elementary education, I began work as a third grade teacher in St. Paul, and now work in Brooklyn Center.

Reflections on your center experience:

  • Did your work with us influence your educational or occupational choices? If so, how?  My work with the Center for Writing has an impressive influence on the work I do with primary-aged children. The students in my classroom are multilingual readers, writers, listeners and speakers, and I certainly wouldn't have been nearly as confident or capable in meeting their needs if it weren't for my experience with multilingual learners in Student Writing Support. Furthermore, my pedagogy in teaching writing has been influenced by the collaborative work that is done at the Center on a daily basis. I often find myself thinking about what multilingual writers at the Center need in order to be successful in their college career, and work to build those skills and foundations in my students as well.
  • What are the most significant abilities, values, or skills that you developed in your work with us? The ability to listen to the needs of my students is the skill that I developed in my work with the center that has been most beneficial in the classroom. With a variety of needs and abilities in the classroom, it is easy for students to get overshadowed in the bigger picture of the curriculum and standards being addressed. In my writing instruction, I feel confident taking the time to talk to my students individually about the stage of writing they are working on, and can use the skills I gained from the writing center to further engage them in their writing, which can be half of the battle in 3rd grade!
  • In your personal and professional life today, how do you find yourself using what you learned from working with us?  One of the things that I learned from the diverse clients at the Center for Writing was that the audience you are writing for is key in terms of the type of work and thinking you are going to do around your writing. In both my personal and professional life, I often find myself going back to this concept, and thinking carefully about the audience I am working with before centering my work. I also engage in a great deal of collaborative conversation about K-6 education, and find the more "brainstorming" I do about a particular problem I am working on, the more successful the outcome always—a principle that always rang true in my work with the Center.
  • Anything else you want to tell us and your fellow Center alums?  I cannot say enough how supportive, engaging, inspiring and influential my time with the Center was, and how much I still wish I could work with the amazing professionals of C4W, learning and growing all of the time! I especially hope that the University continues to value all of the work that is done within the Center, and look forward to hearing more stories about its growth and success in the future!