Showing posts from December, 2019

In School, Who Were Your Writing Heroes?

W ho were your writing champions as you went through the formative years of learning? Who do you recall as a writing hero; a teacher who promoted writing through their own actions? Someone who inspired you to greater effort and made you want to persist. Sadly, it wasn’t until I reached my tertiary education that I actually encountered such a person. The late Tom McCabe encouraged me to become editor of the college newspaper. He talked about writing in a way that previous teachers had conspicuously failed to do. He re-ignited my passion for writing poetry. He talked with passion and authority about the joy of writing.  He was a stand out champion for writing! I certainly had teachers who stood out as beacons for literature and reading. I recall my teacher in Grade 3, Mr Murphy reading Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi, an adventurous tale of a mongoose and his adversary, the cobra. People such as Frank Harris, my Grade 6 teacher,  who read the poetry of Henry Lawson and Andrew &

Writer's Notebooks - A Broader View For Developing Writers

Stories continue to reach my ears of schools where Writer's Notebooks are being presented to student writers in rather limited ways. Ways that serve to severely limit the notebook’s potential to influence and inform the developing writer.  The notebook is capable of being much more than a depository for 'seed' ideas, lists of potential topics and an endless succession of Y charts, invoked every time a potential topic or idea is raised.  When I see student notebooks limited to these types of entries, it suggests a somewhat narrow interpretation of what a writer’s notebook is expected to provide. They appear undernourished and underdeveloped. They are a pale imitation of what might be. They lack versatility and vitality.   Student notebooks belong to the student writers. We want young writers to develop a clear sense of ownership, responsibility and pride in them. To be putting our energy into claiming control of their notebooks will never achieve suc