When freewriting, I encourage teachers to write with their students. The tone and atmosphere in the classroom changes when we do: both during writing and after.
Together we can explore the emotions when we write: apprehension, joy, frustration, delight. Together we can examine mentor texts and experiment with techniques within our writing. Together we can work to enhance the artistry and clarity of our work.
If I’ve ever been in your classroom, you’ll know that I refer to students as writers. They aren’t trying to become writers, they are writers. This is true for us as teachers, too.
Are we writers by profession? Most of us, no. But do we write? Yes! We write on most days, in fact, in one context or another. Writing is a skill we continue to use day after day. But if we as teachers don’t see ourselves as writers, how can we expect our students to see themselves in this way?
I don’t expect masterpieces from teacher or students. But I do expect regular writing practice and subsequent literary conversations. These conversations are most effective and more meaningful when we write with our students.
Are you a writing teacher?