One of my frustrations in my teaching career has been how very little preparation there is available to help teachers become better writing teachers. When I went to school to get my teaching license, I took classes in how to teach reading, math, science, social studies and art...but NO class on how to teach writing. My experience has shown me that I am not the only teacher who struggles with effective ways to deliver writing instruction. I even know of teachers who are hesitant to teach writing because they don't know how or don't feel like they are good enough writers themselves....Yikes! This is very scary stuff!
I am the kind of teacher who is pretty self-driven in the professional development area. A few years ago, I began to research better ways to teach writing and came across the writing workshop format. Thankfully, due to fabulous writing experts like Ralph Fletcher and Regie Routman, I have figured out something that works for me and helps my students grow as writers. If you would like to learn more about writing workshop, here are two books that I found EXTREMELY helpful:
So....This summer I will be learning more about effective writing instruction and will become a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project. This means I will be able to help other teachers improve their writing instruction and have the confidence to teach writing every day. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) place a renewed emphasis on developing strong writing and communication skills in our youth. The CCSS encourage writing in all subject areas, regardless of whether or not you consider yourself a teacher of writing. They recognize that reading and writing go hand in hand to deliver balanced literacy instruction. This means we will need to provide more professional development and support for teachers in regards to writing instruction as we continue this journey, so that all teachers feel confident in their writing instruction and our students reap the rewards.
How prepared do you feel?