I am a writer. – Jayde, age 6
I’m not a writer. I didn’t go to journalism school and I have no proper credentials that certify me as a writer. I haven’t immersed myself in the study or practice of writing. So how can I expect my students to view themselves as a writer if I don’t even view myself as one?
Maybe the problem lies in how one defines “writer”. I think my perception in the past has been that writers are trained and paid for their work. Since I’ve been using the Writer’s Workshop approach to writing, I’ve learned that we are all writers. Writers write every day. Writers share their ideas. Writers write on a variety of topics and writers are good readers. As educators, we have to remember that our attitudes are conveyed to our students. I want my students to be excited about writing. When I start Writer’s Workshop each day, I call my “writers” to the carpet and I ask them in conferences to share with me what they are learning about themselves as a writer. In turn, I model writing for them. I think aloud about writing ideas. I model what I do when I get “stuck”. I model writing on a chart tablet and on my iPad. If I think of a writing idea in the middle of math, I jot it down on a sticky note or in my Notes app. I tell them to do the same. I blog here and I blog with them on KidBlog. We talk about what good writers do and we use mentor texts as examples.
My modeling has been fruitful. My students write every day. They write about a variety of topics and for a variety of purposes. They write fiction and non-fiction. They write stories on paper and on their iPads. They make lists. They make books in eBook Magic and on Pages. They write personal narratives and one even wrote a song. They blog with each other. They fill one page and ask for another. And another.
They have no doubt they are writers. It never occurs to them to think they aren’t. They write and they share. They encourage one another. They have all the necessary tools. They have training. All they need now is to get paid!
Hey wait! Can I get in on that too?
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10 thoughts on “Write This Way”
You are not just a writer: You are now a published author. Someone once told me that to put a page on the internet was to publish, but I think I’m going to narrow that definition a little, as I’ve noticed that much of the content on the Internet is not original, and much of it is simply links to other peoples’ work – just a lot of “white noise.” The thing that makes you stand out is your original content. Keep posting. I, for one, am reading.
Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you that the Internet is filled with unoriginal white noise. Ive enjoyed the creative ride of blogging. It has encouraged me to stretch myself personally and professionally. Thank you for reading!
Kristi, you have a good point about all of the white noise on the Internet. That is my biggest complaint about FaceBook. It seems that the majority of posts that I see is folks pasting links to other stuff they found on the Internet. That gets old after awhile.
I do have a journalism degree and still didn’t declare myself a “writer” until 2008! Jayde has it right: I do, therefore I am. You are teaching your students that writing is accessible, and that they all have stories to tell and important ideas to explore and share.
Thanks Angie…what you said about writing being accessible is exactly what I’m trying to convey!
It just occurred to me that I have not seen anything from you recently. You doing ok?
I posted something yesterday. I’ve been sporadic lately… yet on a creative high. I suppose there’s a blog post in there somewhere, too! 🙂 Thanks for checking.
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Once upon a time I was told that someone is not considered a real writer until they have been published in hard copy such as a magazine, periodical or book. I think that being a published author certainly gives credence to the art of writing. I also believe that the Internet, and the different blogging platforms, makes writing more accessible to people. It allows one to spread their wings, and self publish their thoughts. Maybe there is a difference between writing, and being a published author. I think that perhaps it boils down to the impact that our words have on those that read them, whether you are a published author or not. Is your work original? Are you passionate about what you write about? Are you consistent? Does your writing challenge how you think and how others think? Does your writing expand your horizons? Does your writing build people up or tear them down? Hey, where did all of those thoughts come from? Maybe you stirred something up within me?
All very good points. I like especially how blogging and the internet give us a platform to spread our wings. I am blogging here at Angie’s encouragement originally. I am enjoying it…and beyond my enjoyment, it is causing me to stop and reflect a lot more and be more present in my teaching. Many of the things I have blogged here might have gone unnoticed had I not been more aware through blogging.