Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Writers...Summer Not...Yet

Writing is my least favorite thing to teach.  I am trying to change my belief that writing is not for everyone, that not everyone needs to know how to write a memoir or a powerful personal narrative.  I do believe that everyone needs to know how to express their thoughts, ideas and opinions.  But I am also stuck in the belief that writing is the best way for teachers to assess how well students are able to show their thinking.  So often I say, "we can't really measure how well a student comprehends what s/he reads because we are really assessing how well they can write about what s/he reads.

I do believe that there is an important connection between reading and writing and that learning how to do one well will increase interest, appreciation and skill in the other.  Strong writers are strong readers.  I have yet to see proof that strong readers are strong writers, but I'm not giving up yet.  Writing takes time, and patience, and stamina.  In a world where information is at our fingertips, thoughts are fleeting and words on the tip of our tongues, writing, real writing, just isn't something students want to take the time to do.  For students, writing is a subject in school, a product that is scored.  I don't want it to be this way anymore.

I am working on my own vision of writing in my classroom; where I am nurturing, coaching, and growing writers.  I know that to really be able to do this, I have to be a writer myself.  I have the summer ahead of me to work toward this goal.  I've outlined a few steps and write them here in hopes that posting them will make me hold myself accountable to them.  Writing them down makes them real.

  • I will keep a writer's notebook, just like I ask my students to do.
  • I will write every day.
  • I will collect memories, ideas, opinions, questions, mental images, quotes, anything that I can jot on the pages of my notebook. 
  • I will revisit my belief that writing is not for everyone and see how I feel about that in August.
This fall, when I return to my classroom with my new group of students I will have grown as a writer and will be better prepared to support them as writers.  I will.


  1. Congratulations on an amazing journey as a daily writer. I will challenge myself to write once a week....thank you for inspiring me.

  2. What a great way to motivate your students! Enjoy your daily journey.

  3. I am proud of you, Heather! Your words will resonate with many teachers. I can't wait to see how you grow as a writer and teacher. You are a living example of 'never stop learning.'