Teaching Writing is Hard!!

Teaching Writing is Hard!!

What’s so hard about it? Why do English teachers struggle with teaching writing? What can we do about it? What’s so difficult about teaching writing? For most writers, we are so passionate about writing and practice is so much that we learn the skills without realizing it. Think about it like this: What is something that you love so much, practice so often even though it is challenging to learn, and people say to you that you make it look easy? Just because you make it look easy does not mean that it is easy. It’s the love that you have for it that drives you to learn the skills to accomplish it EVEN when it is difficult. That is how writers feel. We cannot not write. So even though it is extremely hard to learn the skills and to keep writing when everything in us wants to quit, life is better when we write. We cannot not write. Just like you cannot not do what you love. That said, writing is HARD!!! The skills that we have had to learn to be good writers have come with failure after failure… these failures you don’t see because they are in our literal or virtual trash bins. Why is it so hard to teach writing? Many times for writers, as you can imagine with your thing, it is hard to understand someone who is not as passionate about what we love. It is also a challenge to identify the steps that we have taken to become good at writing. Sometimes, teachers of writing are better at inspiring writing than we are at...
3 Rules to Follow While Writing & Editing a Paper

3 Rules to Follow While Writing & Editing a Paper

x There are no good writers, only good editors!! Write with your voice One piece of advice that I hear many, many English teachers tell students that I completely disagree with is, “Don’t write like you talk!”  WHAT?!?! What are you talking about?  How can you not write like you talk?  If you can’t write how you talk, how in the world can you write anything? On the other hand, the compliment that you should hear as a writer is, “It sounds like you are talking to me.”  When you do that, it is this amazing device that we English teachers call “Your voice!”  So why would they tell you not to write like you talk but at the same time tell you to find your voice in writing?  It doesn’t make any sense. I know their fear.  They don’t want you to add cuss words or informal language, but I have heard gang members use that informal language, very inappropriate for school I might add, while talking about the rhetorical appeals.  You know what?  I am not going to correct a student’s verbal grammar if they can have a discussion applying the appeals to an academic text that we have read.  If you are thinking deeply about a subject then write it the way you’d like and edit later. In the Montessori schools, they do not begin to grade on grammar or spelling in stories, journals, or essays until much later in students’ education.  They believe that thinking about the structure and spelling actually hinders the writing process and the student’s creativity; I agree.  This is because we...