Initiating Conversations About The Teaching of Writing

Is it time for a discussion around how writing is taught in your school? Is there a lingering concern that maybe things could be done differently, better?
I have used the following questions on a number of occasions to initiate critical conversations around writing. Feel free to adopt or adapt them to suit your particular circumstance. The aim is to provoke those essential conversations:

  • What are some of the structures, rituals, and routines that are present in successful school based writing programs?
  • What are the critical considerations when scheduling adequate time for writing and writing instruction?
  • What does good writing look like and sound like?
  • What are some of the important things writers do that could be shared with your students?
  • Do you currently share your writing with your students? Why or why not?
  • If teachers were to write alongside their students, sharing and taking risks with their own writing- How might this work?
  • How do you think it can help your students to see you, their teacher struggle with and solve problems as a writer?
  • How do teachers best model respect for writing and writers?
  • Do you think it is necessary for teachers to be good writers? Why or why not?
  • In what ways can writers share their work and celebrate one another's writing successes?
  • What can teachers do to nurture productivity and collegiality in the classroom writing community?
  • How can we, as teachers link writing to reading and talking?
  • What strategies could teachers employ that provide multiple opportunities for students to talk about their lives and their writing?


  1. Great questions. I would guess that some should be discussed before others, like 'what does good writing look like and sound like' first. I can see the conversations moving through the year in discussions. Thanks!


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