May 16, 2021: We Are All Writers
I have spent a great deal of time this month revising and finalizing the syllabus for the class I will be teaching at the university this summer. It is a class for pre-service teachers and will focus on teaching writing in the elementary classroom.
Not an easy task, since so many children come into the classroom already thinking they are not good writers. And many never outgrow it and become the adults who claim they can’t write.
The problem is, these claims are just not true. Everyone is a writer. Everyone can write. Everyone should write!
Writing is not something reserved for the novelist and poet. It is not an endeavor earmarked for journalists and academics. It is something that permeates our lives and adds depth and meaning. It is personal and universal at the same time. And research also tells us, writing is good for us!
It does not take too much effort to uncover mountains of links, articles, and websites that tout the importance of the act of writing. From the scholarly articles that cite research into the benefits of writing, to the blogs and anecdotal stories that showcase how good it is for us, there is no doubt that writing is something that should be an integral part of everyone’s life.
We are all WRITERS.
Whether you realize it or not, you already write. While an individual may not write everything on this list, most people would check off several.
WHAT we write:
- Journal Entries
- Love notes
Whether these writings are part of your work life or your personal time, we write for many of the same reasons.
WHY we write:
- To understand the world
- To understand ourselves
- To clarify our thinking
- To change the world
- To share our stories
- To connect with others
- To explain our positions
- To convince others
- To share ideas
- To document things
- To matter
Yes, teaching children (and college students) writing is going to involve teaching grammar and conventions, and writing process, and techniques for revising, and how to harness purpose and audience.
It is endless and can often feel overwhelming for both the teacher and the student. But the most important thing is to teach them to believe that they are a writer! Perhaps undeveloped and unskilled; perhaps without yet a purpose and a voice. But a writer, nonetheless.
Once you view yourself as a writer, anything is possible.