chapter  12
13 Pages

Learning to Teach Writing

I went to college in the 1970s, and we weren't taught how to teach ''vriting. It was something we were all just expected to do. It was very much a bumbling process for me, and I am embarrassed to tell you how I used to teach writing. I would pick one of the topics in the Language Arts textbook and write it on the board. I'd say, "This is what we are writing on today. You are going to write about your favorite sport." Or I'd tell them, "You are going to write about your hobby;" or something like that. Then they were on their own, and I'd expect them to come up with a good product. The writing I taught was not thought out; it was not enjoyable. I am embarrassed to say I did this for a very long time. Mter several years of this I learned the writing process, and I found a method of writing that created a whole different atmosphere in my classroom, not to mention a whole different product that my students were putting out. I started to teach my students to prewrite. I began to set the stage mentally for writing and help the children determine who to direct their writing toward, who would be their audience. I started helping them pick which word to use.