Fast Forward to Today: 7 Things I Want the Writers in my Classroom to Know

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 9.52.00 PMA year ago, I wrote a post titled, 7 Things I Want the Writers in my Classroom to Know.  In this post, I wrote about what I knew about being a writer and what I thought the writers sharing our classroom should know about being a writer.  Today, I offer an update after an another year of writing.

Previously, I wrote, I was uneasy referring to myself as a writer.  I write to improve my voice and my craft to teach my students what it means to be a writer. Fast forward to today and I would add, I write not only for my students, but also for myself.  For me, writing is reflective, and writing connects me with a community. This community extends past writing, writing is a lifestyle, and writing is personal.  Our writing community shares writing habits and we support one another as we pass through life’s events.  My writing communities reach beyond the words in our notebooks or punched out on a keyboard, my community touches hidden pieces of my heart.  I openly call myself a writer.  I want to help others understand all who write are writers.


Writers Write for Different Reasons

Previously, I wrote, writers write for many reasons. Sometimes they have a story begging to be told. Other times they write to relax or sort out their thinking. Sometimes writers write for others; to complete an assignment, or to share ideas with others. Fast forward to today and I would add, some writers write to be connected with a community.  My students and I have found the connections we have made and the opportunities opened to us as a member of a writing community to be exciting, fulfilling, and empowering.


Writers Have Mixed Feelings

Previously, I wrote, sometimes a writer’s ideas flow and other times we struggle to find ideas and words evade us. The young writers in our classroom need to know writers experience these struggles just as we will.  Fast forward to today and I would add, writers should understand this quote, “I  don’t like writing, but I love having written,” Ralph Flecther.  Students need to feel the pride and peace of  what it means to haven written. 


Writers Need Time and Models

Previously, I wrote, writers in our classroom need to know part of settling into writing is having an idea and the confidence to begin.  Fast forward to today and I would add, sometimes writers don’t have an idea until they start writing. Sometimes writing can surprise even the author.  As writers, we need models, real models, writers who are brave enough to share the real truth of being a writer.  Dana Murphy’s recent post, Using a Writing Survey, is exactly what I needed to read as a writer.  Dana tells the reader about the real person behind the “writerly” expectations.  Dana shares the behind the scenes information you can only obtain through conversation (preferably over coffee) with Dana.  I carry a notebook, most days.  I don’t often use it until I need to find an idea. When I need an idea, I start sketching and writing until an idea finds me.  I want to be the writer who writes in a notebook each day and always has it in their hand, but I am not, not yet, and I have learned to be confident about who I am as a writer.  


Writers Seek and Accept Feedback

Previously, I wrote, I have learned feedback can be the most difficult and the most valuable part of writing. Writers in our classroom need to know how to seek and accept feedback and how to apply the feedback to their writing.  In the workshop, we will provide time at the opening and closing of workshop for sharing and discussing  writing with other writers. The art of giving and accepting feedback will need diligent attention. In an effort to ensure the feedback given is supportive and moves past the superficial comments, we will create a feedback sheet as a class. This sheet will include what we should expect to see based on class minilessons.  Fast forward to today and I would add,  this is an area of refinement.  Accepting feedback on conventions is easy for me, but when suggestions are offered in regards to word choice, order, or phrasing I struggle to accept this feedback.  I assume everyone will read the words they sound in my head.  As I work to understand these suggested edits I will reflect on my teaching and how I can help my students become reflective in their writing.  How will I teach my students to set, reflect, and evaluate their writing goals?


Writers Celebrate

Previously, I wrote, I have learned writers learn to be brave and writers are always learning to be writers. I have learned writers find value in their messiest work. I have learned writing is a way of capturing your life. I have learned no matter your level or ability of writing each piece and each step warrants celebration. So, now I am wondering…how will you show your writers they are writers and their writing deserves celebration?  Fast forward to today and I would add, all learning is a personal process and all learning should be celebrated!