Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Topic: Writing Assignments

10-second review: Complete the writing assignments you give to your students.

Title: “Keeping It New.” TJ Hunt and B Hunt. English Journal (July 2008), 108-112. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “I have also enjoyed one of the practices I learned best from my experience in the National Writing Project: Writing assignments with students. I have learned more about myself and the nature of my assignments (their particular nuances and challenges, for example) and students appreciate the empathy and enjoy when I share in their vulnerability as writers.” p. 112.

Comments: I’ve read some criticism of this practice—that teachers are simply showing off how well they write, making students feel even less confident. Frankly, I think it’s a good idea, for the reason the authors give: the teacher will learn how the assignment looks to the students and the possible problems with the assignment that the teacher might not have realized.

But to become really vulnerable as a writer, teachers should try to write for publication. And share their experiences with their students. RayS.

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