Resist the Temptation

I know, I know… it’s hard not to correct their work. Whether riddled with mistakes or just a few, our instinct as teachers is to edit our students’ writing for them.

Don’t do it…

…for two reasons.

First, think about the message it communicates (albeit unintentional) to our students. Consider a young writer’s perspective: “My teacher doesn’t think I’m a good writer.” or “Look at all of my mistakes.” For some it translates into: “I can’t write.” Even if you’ve made glowing comments alongside the corrections, our young writers fixate on their mistakes. And the next time they write, guess what’s on their mind? That negative self-talk.

Second, correcting their mistakes for them does not teach them to correct the mistakes themselves. If our goal is competent, independent writers, we as teachers then, must empower our students to edit their own work. Does it take more time than correcting errors for them? You bet! Does it have more impact? Absolutely. Lasting impact.

So how do we do this? Let’s save that for next week’s blog…

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