Writing and Me

In writing classrooms everywhere, teachers of writing need to be teachers who write. The first step to being that kind of teacher involves some self-reflection. How do I feel about teaching writing?  How would I describe myself as a writer? Take a sentence stem from the survey below and use it to write a notebook entry. Respond to one question each day until you are finished. If you can find a colleague to do the same, you can talk about your responses over lunch or when you can best fit in a conversation. It is very freeing to talk about attitudes, beliefs, and values with a trusted other. Sometimes, we can lose our anxieties and fears just by writing about them and talking about them.  

Please respond to these questions:

  1. As a writer I am…
  2. Three words that describe how I feel about teaching writing are…
  3. Three words that describe how I think my students feel about writing are…
  4. A classroom “writing experience” should involve:
  1. I spend approximately ___________ (minutes, hours) each week teaching writing. The part I struggle with/enjoy the most is….


  1. The part of writing I’m best at teaching is…
  2. One goal I have for writing in my classroom this year is…

When you are ready, here are a few more questions to ponder:

  • How about rigor in your writing classroom? Where is there evidence of rigor?
  • What does deeper learning look like in your writing classroom?
  • If you had to name the most important skills and strategies students need to be able to grow as writers, what would they be? Why?
  • What has been your approach to teaching writing in the past?  What works? What would you like to change?

Reflection on literacy practices is an important aspect of our profession. Thinking about our beliefs, values, and daily routines help us grow and make sense of what we do and how we do it. When we share our thinking with others, we can build the support network we need to question our practices and revise what isn’t working. It’s also a way to receive validation and praise for all the good work we are doing. Growing a network of writing teachers can involve going beyond our school setting. The Slice of Life network is a great writing community with expertise from K-university level. Grow your network this month and keep in touch all year round!

I am participating in #SliceofLife2020. Thanks to twowritingteachers for creating this space for writers to meet.

10 thoughts on “Writing and Me

  1. 3 words for how I feel about teaching writing: curious, grateful and humbled. There is nothing more important than having a writing community – we need it and our students need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe that being a reflective practitioner has been the most important part of my teaching career. These questions are perfect for that. I have also shared this blog post with our #100DaysofNotebooking Facebook group. I think we can all learn from our answers to these.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynne, I think your first sentence says it all. How can we teach our students to write and expect them to write if we do not write ourselves? I always liked to open our department meetings with a writing prompt. These would be great to use if I were still working.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynne, I long believed that teachers of writing must write themselves. When I taught as an adjunct, I was surprised to see how little confidence teachers had and structured my course to build that confidence. I love you prompts. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynne, you are so right about reflection. Writing uses muscles; reflection stretches them. Love reading what you have to say about writing always.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, it is so essential for teachers of writing to be writers themselves. When you engage in that process, you, too, are struggling with words and revising as you go. The teacher needs to experience what it is we ask of our students, and to fully appreciate how difficult and wonderful it is to find the right words.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reflection is so important! I was not a teacher who wrote along with my students or anytime. Writing has become my passion and it certainly is contagious with my students. I took that leap out of my comfort zone and couldn’t be more thankful. I write along with my students and outside of school. I share my writing with my students. The love of writing is shared between my writers and I! Writing Workshop and Writer’s Notebook time are favorite in my classroom! Thanks Lynne for always being so encouraging. You’re a true mentor!

    Liked by 1 person

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