Mining our Archives: Reflecting on Artifacts to Improve Writing Instruction


  • Jason J. Griffith Penn State University
  • Joshua J. Kornexl Andersen Junior High, Chandler, Arizona
  • Jannine Amore Arizona State University
  • Alex Hoffman Arizona State University



autoethnography, writing instruction, writing artifacts, reflection


By carefully considering our past, we can better adjust our present to improve our future writing and instruction. This article features the reflections of a former high school English teacher and current undergraduate writing methods instructor along with three pre-service English teachers on writing-related artifacts from their personal archives. The co-authors present teaching principles they have developed after reflecting on which writing-related artifacts they've kept, why they've kept those artifacts, and what those artifacts suggest about how we should teach writing. Finally, the co-authors encourage both students and teachers to engage in a similar reflective process and productively dialogue with our writing pasts.

Author Biographies

  • Jason J. Griffith, Penn State University
    Jason J. Griffith is an Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy Education at Penn State University. Jason taught middle and high school English for 12 years in PA before earning a doctorate in English Education from Arizona State University. A National Board Certified teacher and fellow of the National Writing Project, Jason's book From Me to We: Using Narrative Nonfiction to Broaden Student Perspectives was published by Routledge Eye on Education in 2017. As corresponding author, Jason can be reached at
  • Joshua J. Kornexl, Andersen Junior High, Chandler, Arizona
    Joshua Kornexl writes both children and adult fiction books, represented by the publicist, Louise Crawford, founder of Brooklyn Social Media with the New York Writers Coalition. His children's book, A Tiara for Dara is currently under panel review with Brooklyn's Light House Publishing Firm. He has BA from Arizona State University where he studied Arts Secondary Education in English and Writing and teaches Honors English at Andersen Junior High in Chandler, Arizona. He is also a member of Tempe Screen Writers Group. He is the author of two unpublished novels, Smile, Happy Psycho and One Round of Blood & Sand, the children's book A Tiara for Dara, and one book of unpublished collection of poetry, Bukowski, my god, where are you?
  • Jannine Amore, Arizona State University
    Jannine Amore is an 8th grade Language Arts teacher in Tempe, Arizona. Throughout her college career, her love for literature and the written word became stronger and stronger, and that is when she knew she wanted to be able to share that love with young adults and aspiring writers. Having the ability to share her passion with middle school students and encourage them to be confident in their writing abilities and appreciate literature extremely rewarding and something she enjoys doing each and every day.
  • Alex Hoffman, Arizona State University
    Alex Hoffman is a recent college graduate currently working at LifeTime fitness as an Assistant Manager in the aquatics department. She enjoys using the leadership and educational skills she learned at Arizona State University to lead her team of employees, as well as instruct young swimmers in the water.






Practitioner Pieces