Writer with a Capital W

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Stacey from Two Writing Teachers posed the question, “How has your instruction been impacted by being a Writer?”

First, I credit both the Slice of Life community and my local Writing Project for helping me become more of a writer. I still shrug off the capital “w” because I am not sure I deserve it except for perhaps in the month of March when I write daily.

In no particular order, I am going to list ways my instruction has been impacted by being a writer:

1. I realize students need time to share with each other, especially when they won’t all have time to share with the whole class. This way they all are heard by someone and feel they have a voice. I do this mostly with quick writes and journals. This one minute of sharing time is huge in building enthusiasm.
2. I know when I am compromising my beliefs. Mediocre Common Core units handed to me with extended texts are not going to help me engage students in writing. I am going to have to find a way to bring the sacred (my word for the year) into these units and into my instruction.
3. More writing isn’t necessarily better. Kids need a place to begin. CC and this only seeing what lies inside of the four corners of the page is NOT enough.
4. Kids need to see me as a writer–not just a piece I bring to class, but I need to write with them or as Penny Kittle says, “Write beside them”.
5. Writers need community. Like my blog needs a comment, my students need peers to share with.
6. We all have a voice; we just need to find it.
7. Writers need to be affirmed. The Bless-Press-Address model works well.
8. Sometimes a writer needs to step away to find his/her voice. A writer with a clipboard on a walk, a writer with something electronic at his/her fingertips, a writer under a desk–from these places sometimes emerge thoughts that before we’re lying dormant.
9. A writer who writes daily writes better and builds stamina but most importantly finds his/her voice.
10. Writing is a process that is unique to each individual. While scaffolds can be helpful, each person is his/her own person with his/her own needs that may vary from moment to moment.
11. With only one hour for language arts/reading/writing/language/speaking/listening, I have to be creative in helping find the writer that resides inside each person.

Stacey, thanks for the challenges you put before me in your inspiring words. Thanks for creating this place where I continually am challenged as both a writer and a teacher.

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6 thoughts on “Writer with a Capital W

  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I especially like #9 about finding one’s voice. That is the primary reason I write and it isn’t always easy. This is something I want to convey to my students, as well. Writing is hard work but it’s so satisfying if you stick with it long enough to see what that means.

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  2. Stacey, I first did Bless–Press–Address with my area Writing Project. Bless is to say something nice, praise the work, say something specific that you see that you like. Press is to help smooth out the wrinkles, press the writer. Address may be writer directed–help me develop a lead that works or help me make my dialogue better. Here are a few links. This works great with teacher writing groups and with digital writing as well. Good luck on your keynote. I wish I could dine with y’all in Indiana.

    Here are a few links if you want to know more:
    http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/download/nwp_file/12381/Guidelines_for_Response_Groups.pdf?x-r=pcfile_d

    http://readwritetalk.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/moving-forward-with-writing-groups/

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