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.
- 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
- Teacher education
- Writing instruction
- Culturally sustaining pedagogy
- Complex adaptive systems
- Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers
- American Educational Research Association
- International Society for the Advancement of Writing Research
- International Literacy Association
- Literacy Research Association
- National Association for Bilingual Education
- National Association for Multicultural Education
- National Council for the Teachers of English Language Arts
- Texas Association for Literacy Association
- Texas Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education
- Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts
The Texas Association for Literacy Education (TALE) has released the newest issue of the Texas Journal of Literacy Education. The issue is the first to be edited by a team of A&M-Commerce curriculum and instruction faculty members, including Drs. Juan Araujo, Kamshia Childs, Tami Morton and Laura Slay. The A&M-Commerce team accepted the editing duties […]
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 […]
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 […]