When I started out as a writing tutor six years ago, I had a master’s degree in writing, a love of language and an enthusiastic, almost evangelical, energy about the subject. Instinctively, I knew how important writing is to a child’s future. After all, even the most brilliant scientist needs to be able to communicate his/her ideas. In addition, our first impressions are made in writing today. I don’t want this to turn into a listicle of the top 10 reasons why kids need to learn how to write; suffice it to say that writing is a critical skill.
Thanks to the National Writing Project, I have gotten to spend the last two years studying the way we teach writing. And yes, there’s a lot of science and data that goes into building writing programs. Two summers ago, I was a fellow in the Los Angeles Writing Project Summer Institute at Cal State LA. Since then, I’ve taught in the summer camp and tutored in the Alhambra Unified School District. This summer, I was a fellow at the Cal State Northridge Writing Project and am now officially a teacher leader. I look forward to continuing involvement with both branches of the Writing Project.
Learning about pedagogy, using scaffolding and mentor texts has made me a better teacher. However, I’m going to call myself a coach, tutor, or maybe a cheerleader, because I want my kids to think of themselves as writers, not students.
Look for blog posts about creative spelling, writer’s workshops, 5 paragraph essays, and more.