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 teaching writing. We desire for our students experience the love of writing that we feel, so we show them how we think while writing, while reading the novel, and about the topic, but we don’t know how to break down the steps to teach students how to think and write like we do.
This program does that.
This program teaches students what to think about during reading, how to break down the information that they read after they finish, how to organize and identify a common theme or thesis statement and how to write a clear and concise college-level paper.
How do we do this?
The 3 main strategies that we use to teach writing is:
- Guide students in reading example sentences and teaching students how to replicate those sentences in their papers.
- Using graphic organizers to visually see what the essay is supposed to look like.
- Giving students sentence starters or templates to give them the words that academic writers use.
These 3 strategies are combined with other effective strategies that we have seen work over and over again in struggling writers who need to learn to write for college.
The way that these lessons are designed gives guidance for students to learn reading writing and thinking strategies without putting them into a box. Because this program is strategy and skill-based, students are able to respond at the level that they are capable. This makes these strategies effective for all levels of students, from advanced, to low-skilled readers, to English learners, to high-functioning special needs students.
If the student is motivated to learn, then this program is the best opportunity to become a skilled writer.
I hope you will join us on this journey.