I teach literacy methods courses that help teachers become great teachers. I particularly enjoy teaching writing that helps us explore our identities, our cultures and our passions. I also enjoy facilitating literature discussion groups and helping teachers discover best teaching practices they can use in their classrooms.

Laura Slay, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

  • Faculty
Curriculum and Instruction
Contact Laura
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Related Department
Curriculum and Instruction
San Rafael, CA and Wilton, CT
College Major
Curriculum and Instruction
Year Graduated

Dr. Laura Slay has lived in various places across North America. Raised primarily in California and Connecticut, she has also lived in Mexico and Chile.

Slay teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in reading, writing and ESL methods. She also supervises elementary and middle-school clinical teachers seeking certification. Before arriving at A&M-Commerce, she worked in K-12 public education for 28 years. Her research focuses on culturally sustaining literacy instruction, preservice teacher education and complex adaptive systems. She speaks Spanish and French, and enjoys traveling internationally with students to explore education in other countries. She is a co-founder and member of the National Writing Project of Northeast Texas advisory board at A&M-Commerce and co-editor of the Texas Journal of Literacy Education.

She is proud of her two adult children. Her son and his wife live in Tacoma, Washington, and her daughter and two toddlers (who call her Ama) live nearby. They all enjoy time outdoors. When she isn't too busy with work, Slay enjoys walking or hiking with her American Staffordshire Terrier named Inka.

A Conversation with Dr. Slay

What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?

A&M-Commerce is a recognized leader in the field of teacher education. Our faculty and staff take pride in providing an excellent and affordable education. The professors are experts in their field and in meeting the needs of students who lead busy lives and want an excellent education. A&M-Commerce offers several pathways and locations for becoming a certified teacher. We are here to help you reach your goals. Come talk to us.

What draws you to your discipline?

Reading, writing, and critical thinking are key to learning across all disciplines today! Yet literacy continuously evolves, particularly as digital technology influences how and what we can create and communicate. Teaching and learning from an inquiry stance is central to thinking critically and developing the capacity for critical literacy. It is a first step toward building a lifelong pursuit for learning and knowing.

I teach literacy methods courses that help teachers become great teachers. I particularly enjoy teaching writing that helps us explore our identities, our cultures and our passions. I also enjoy facilitating literature discussion groups and helping teachers discover best teaching practices they can use in their classrooms.

What has been your favorite course to teach?

It is hard for me to choose just one course as a favorite to teach because reading and writing instruction are integrated. I love teaching RDG 350 because I introduce students to best practices in reading instruction. Students enjoy discussing multicultural children's literature in this course’s Critical Literacy Literature Circles project. In RDG 370 and RDG 528, I teach best practices in writing instruction. I love learning alongside my students as we research burning questions and play with writing across multiple genres. Finally, many RDG 528 students relish the opportunity to become literacy leaders when they become part of our own National Writing Project of Northeast Texas (NWPNET).

Tell us about a project you are currently working on or recently completed.

I love traveling internationally with students. Most recently, I took a group of preservice teachers to central Mexico to work with elementary and middle-grade students. Our students gained new perspectives about teaching when working directly with elementary and middle-grade students in a small rural community near San Miguel de Allende. We also had fun descending into expired silver mines, climbing ancient pyramids, shopping and exploring the rich history and culture of the Mexican people.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction: Language and Literacy Studies, University of North Texas, 2018
  • M.Ed., Reading, University of North Texas, 2009
  • B.A., French and Comparative Literature, Hiram College, 1979

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Presentation Award, SITE Interactive Conference, 2021

Research Interests

  • Teacher education
  • Writing instruction
  • Culturally sustaining pedagogy
  • Complex adaptive systems

Professional Organizations

Selected Publications

  • Morton, T., Slay, L., & Loewenstein, M. (2022). Exploring how preservice teachers use digital tools to read multicultural literature. ALER Yearbook Volume 43: Educate to Liberate. Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers.
  • Revelle, C., Slay, L., & Fields, M. (2021). Read-alouds, structure, and sharing: Planning strategically to carve out time for meaningful literacy experiences. English in Texas, 51(2), 29-32. Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts.
  • Riley, J., Miller, K. & Slay, L. (2021). Pouring from an empty cup: Women faculty as caregivers amid COVID-19 and the threat to career progression. Dialogues in Social Justice: An Adult Education Journal, 6(2). [ISSN: 2578-2029]. https://journals.charlotte.edu/dsj
  • Loewenstein, M., Slay, L. E., & Morton, T. (2021). Reimagining writing instruction during pandemic times: A first grade teacher's journey creating a digital writing workshop. Texas Association for Literacy Education Yearbook, Volume 8: Views from the Virtual Classroom [ISSN 2374-0590].

Related News

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TAMUC Faculty Members Selected to Edit State Literacy Education Journal

A&M-Commerce curriculum and instruction faculty members Juan Araujo, Ph.D., Kamshia Childs, Ed.D., Tami Morton, Ph.D., and Laura Slay, Ph.D., are the incoming editors of the Texas Journal of Literacy Education (TJLE) beginning May 15. The peer-reviewed, biannual publication is the official journal of the Texas Association for Literacy Education, which serves as the Texas affiliate […]

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A&M-Commerce to Establish National Writing Project of Northeast Texas

Texas A&M University-Commerce is partnering with the National Writing Project (NWP) to establish the National Writing Project of Northeast Texas. A&M-Commerce will join a network of 170 NWP sites spanning all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistant Professor Carol Revelle, Ph.D., will serve as director of the site, which […]

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