Showing posts from July, 2021

Research For Writing- A Wide Range of Options Lie Out There

     How do we as teacher/writers stretch our thinking, our awareness? How do we acquire the essential knowledge, experience and confidence to write alongside our students? The answer lies in research. And when we begin to examine the notion of research we begin to notice its wide ranging territory...       It is this territory, this terrain, into which we must venture - firstly as both writers and educators. When we as educators mindfully walk such learning paths, we are better able to convince less experienced writers to follow in our steps.  Let's unpack some essential research actions: Get out to the streets of your neighbourhood. Walk about and breathe in the day around you. Use your senses. Make mental notes. Jot down some of your observations.  Talk to people. Practice being an active listener. Tune into conversations. Don't be afraid to eavesdrop. It often delivers treasure.  Wherever you are, be interested. Practice being an observer. Becoming a curious observer is eve

Teaching Writing- The Value of Inviting Mentor Authors Into The Classroom

When a teacher enters a classroom to teach a writing lesson they should draw comfort from the fact that they are not alone. They bring with them all the reading and writing they have ever done.   As teachers of writing we are surrounded by so many  authors we trust, respect and who are readily available to assist in the important task of developing young writers. They sit at our shoulder ready to assist. When allowing these authors to become our mentors, our unwitting collaborators, the sharing we do affords student writers quality opportunities to acquire the craft of writing through exposure to rich literary models.   We must willingly and mindfully, bring with us the lessons learned from our own trusted mentors. Provide examples from your own writing life demonstrating how you have incorporated such aspects of writing craft. Regularly encourage students to investigate for themselves specific aspects of the work of such mentors.  When starting out, encourage young writers to imitate

Making A Commitment To Your Own Writing

The Gathering of Your Own Words I have been reflecting on my advice to teachers regarding the necessity to create time for writing. A question that has frequently arisen is -How does a teacher go about finding time in a busy life to become a teacher who writes? How do you do this?  I always do my best to answer the question. Essentially this is what I say when prompted: Every time I pick up a pen to write, the rest of my world defaults to standby. Every thing else comes to a halt. Only the writing matters. Mel Levine in his book, The Myth of Laziness describes writing as ‘exquisite synchronization.’  At this point my mind is pried open and thoughts begin to flow. I am connected only to the page. The challenge of the blank page takes over and must be attended to, immediately. The first words to spill onto the pages of a notebook are often raw and untamed. It doesn’t all glitter.  As writers, we just want to trap those thoughts and ideas before they evade us. To do this we must carve out