Teachers as Writers

Each teacher in the Project WRITE cohort published a polished piece of writing during the Summer Workshop in August, 2008 in Reflections, at www.lulu.comin . The experience of writing many starts through the first year of the Project, and then drafting, conferencing, revising, polishing and publishing a piece of writing is an important experience for all writing teachers. Please reflect on your understandings of this process by considering the following questions and posting your thoughts on the discussion tab above.

Why is it important for writers to have an authentic publishing opportunity?

Why is it important for a community of writers to share their writing in a celebration?

How does sharing writing impact you as an individual and as a writer?

How has the opportunity to conference your writing helped you as a writer?

What do you now understand about yourself as a writer?

How might you facilitate these kinds of opportunities for your students?

As a teacher of writing, what one important change could you make as you start this school year?
Moving toward more collaboration of teachers in various disciplines utilizing some of the technological innovations that have been introduced to us by Troy will be an important step for me. Our school has had so many set backs in the past year and a half that we are having major challenges as teachers maintaining our spirit and motivation. Since our principal died of cancer and our vice principal murdered two people before killing himself we are reeling and grieving. WE have not recovered. Our former principal was a key motivator and a one-man show in our school,loved by all. Of course we were always ticked off at him,but he had humor, energy, loved kids and staff hand had kpersonal relationships with EVERYBODY: we NEED new directions to breathe life back into our building. I am quite excited to try several of the things that have been introduced: particularly working with both staff to have more kids writing in more genres and with kids to motivate and challenge them more in computer labs with discussion threads. I would like to try schoolloop.com.

Also I think that since this week I came in thinking that we wouldn't get as much done since we had so much assessing to do, I have learned and profited immensely. I still have so many questions that the change that will be occurring this fall will be my continuing to learn in techno-ways.

Other thoughts?

Kristy: I really think that students like to see other's writings, especially the teacher's. I think it is especially wonderful for modeling in front of the classroom. My personality, though, doesn't lend me to sharing personal writing with my students. Sharing funny stories etc., but not deep, serious poetry. Maybe someday I'll be more confident and comfortable, but for now I'll move slowly and guage each assignment differently.

Stacey: I don't think students think their writing is important or has any purpose until it is published. As the years have passed I have used blogs in the classroom with much success simply because student work is being seen by many others. Students see their writing now as a resource for others. It is such a powerful and simple change to make.

Dee: I am excited at the prospect of teaching writing and allowing my students to share. However, we need to be aware that some students will not want to share as it is too personal. I personally have valued the sharing both through Projectwrite and RCWP. I see and appreciate the value of sharing, and I am going to tie this into to my daily lesson plans. I think it is also important for the students too see their teachers as "writers" and to have the teachers share their writings.

On a personal note I have enjoyed listening to all the writers and reading the writing and from someone else who was not a writer till I did RCWP this summer I want to say "Darn, we are all writers." DIAW

Jennifer: I think celebrating the writing is important and valuable.It makes the students feel proud of what they accomplished. It also builds a community in the classroom. Students will also gain ideas for for further writing from the others' work.

Jan D: Once again I was overwhelmed by the amount of talent there is in this group. "I'm not worthy!" The way my colleagues were able to express themselves was amazing and I am grateful that everyone felt safe enough to share. Thanks! I love the idea of celebrating. I will definitely do more of it with my students.

Bridget C: I think that publishing (such as on lulu.com) adds more validity to a student's work instead of just "publishing within the classroom". Also, sharing ideas with one another allows students to not only see how other students write, but to generate ideas. I know that when I come to conferences such as this one, I always get new ideas and I'm excited about the work expected of me (I've been working on edublog, wiki, and photostory 3 every night until midnight...that's how excited I am!)

Yolanda J: Publishing grants the writer the blessing of being supported and celebrated. We are all not so far removed from our kids that we don't desire the same things. These past four days, we got just as good as we seek to give. It is important for us to have experienced that because we can know the feeling that our students will receive. That has provided us with the foundation of making sure to recreate that feeling for our students. To be celebrated and heard provides the writer with ambition and courage to continue; even when they think they don't have anything to share. Sharing my writing made me feel valued amongst my peers and that my voice matters. This experience this past week has provided me with more passion for writing. I want to give that to my students. Now that I know I have students to teach :D.