Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Good Writing

How do you define "good writing"? How do your think your students define "good writing"? (This is my favorite workshop exercise with teachers. Teachers tend to value creativity, voice, and expressiveness; students assume that good writing is proper and correct. Where do students get that message if the teachers tend to believe something else? Hmm. Are we sending mixed messages about what we value?)

Gary Anderson

So lately I've been pondering the lovely discussion generated by what was essentially a big ol' whine of mine. It's a familiar wheeze: I hate writing. I don't want to write, but I feel like I have to so that I can be a good writing teacher. Writing sucks. How can I make it NOT such a festering pile of crapola?

To respond to Gary's poke, good writing IS proper and correct - for its intentions. If you are incapable of writing in Standard English, your writing is going to suck. Well, unless you're not writing in English... but my point still stands. Once you've mastered the basics, you can move on from there. But there is where you've gotta start.

I think I have to admit it: I'm not going to enjoy writing. Not now. Not ever. It's going to be another chore that never, ever goes away. Like bills. Or dishes. Or laundry.

Which is kind of depressing.

However, UNLIKE bills, dishes, and laundry, writing is probably not something that I can foist off onto other people - not if I'm going to continue to teach language arts. If I'M going to be the one teaching writing, then I'M going to be the one stuck doing the writing, it seems.

That's even more depressing.

But the consensus also seems to indicate that I don't have to write anything meaningful when I model writing. I just have to model the same kind of writing that I'm asking the students to do (because that's what I'm required to ask for).

And also I shouldn't expect students to write for a solid hour. That's apparently too much - at least without working up to it. Soooo... as far as conferences... I'll have to have something else to fill that time. I figure SSR will work pretty well.

I also quit writing on my daily blog in part because I used to type while they did their quickwrites... but then I started projecting the quickwrite prompt from my computer because I'm using longer prompts and I didn't want to copy this whole huge thing out on the board. And if I'm typing in blogger, they can't see the quickwrite prompt - at least, not well. Soooo maybe I'll go back to putting that on the board. We'll see how it goes.


Knighton said...

What are you using to project the promt? I use a SMARTBoard and pojector, and there is a freeze button on my controller that I can use to freeze the screen so that I can click off that screen and do other things, like check roll on Infinite Campus or check my e-mail. Even when I didn't have the board, but instead had the SMART tablets and just a screen, I could freeze the screen.

Clix said...

Great, now my excuse is gone again. ;D

Knighton said...


Clix said...

well, I'm sure I can come up with others... hahaha! :D

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