John Creger


English teacher John Creger has been learning from sophomores at American High School in Fremont CA since 1988. In his publications and presentations since 1998, John communicates to educators what his sophomores’ continuing response to his Personal Creed Project teaches him about a deeper kind of literacy. In 2015, John launched Thriving at the Core Presentations to share his developing approach with colleagues in their own districts. He earned a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.A. from San Francisco State University, both in English. In recognition of the Personal Creed Project, the National Council of Teachers of English and the National Writing Project presented John the James Moffett Memorial Award for Teacher Research.

Offered Courses


Course No. ED474d, ED574d

Tuition $315 ‑ $415

Quarter Credits 5

Students who respond to us the least might actually need us the most. This course introduces an approach that prepares teachers to counter the harm inflicted when students internalize the negative stereotypes society aims at black, brown, native and other groups of marginalized students. In The Innocent Classroom, the author of our course text Alexs Pate reveals how internalized stereotypes create a sense of unwarranted guilt in these students that adversely affects their engagement in learning. This course is designed to help teachers create individual relationships that can guide our hard-to-reach and marginalized students to shed this sense of guilt, restore their innocence, and re-engage in learning.


Course No. ED471w, ED571w

Tuition $315 ‑ $415

Quarter Credits 5

How can we best prepare our students emerging from the pandemic to meet the challenges of our times? Social and emotional learning is finally entering the spotlight around the country. But where should students' social and emotional unfolding begin? Of the dimensions of SEL -- building awareness of themselves and others, and developing the skills of relationship, decision-making, and self-management -- the first foundation stone is their discovery of themselves. Designing ongoing strands of curriculum and instructional methods to help students develop self-knowledge is the focus of this course.

The focus on standards and tests crowds out students' self-discovery at a time when young people more than ever need to know what they stand for and be ready to act for the greater good. This course prepares intrepid elementary, intermediate and secondary language arts teachers to design learning experiences to help their students understand themselves by reflecting on their lives to date, discovering what they value, and deciding how they wish to make a difference in the world. 

Building on research into the developmental needs of young people, and my own classroom research on deepening the experience of learning, you'll learn ways to design your students' self-discovery into the reading, writing and conversation strands of your courses. For many students, this self-discovery culminates in a life-changing classroom community rite-of-passage called the Personal Creed Project.