Looking back over the past year I can clearly see the growth I have made as a teacher of writing. A year ago, writing was something I tried to fit in, if there was extra time. I was asking students to complete one writing project every nine weeks and thought this was sufficient. Now, writing is something that my students do daily! My classroom is a place where students feel comfortable expressing themselves in written form. This confidence has spreed throughout other subjects as well.
When I look back to how I was including writing in my classroom before, I feel ashamed. I regret that those students did not receive the writing instruction that they deserved. However, I am proud that my current classroom is so writer friendly now, also of the accomplishments that my students have made this year. This semester alone my 5th grade ELA class has created 2 multi-genre projects, several poems, written summaries, and created multiple letters. When we write it is not something that is out of the norm. My students feel that they are doing something fun and exciting. It’s one of the aspects of their daily routine that they look forward to. In addition to becoming confident writers, they are becoming fluent writers. When I check their writing notebooks and see their writing at the beginning of the year and their writing now, it is evident they have made huge gains. Students that used to write 1-2 sentences are now writing 5-6. Others that were writing half a page are now writing 2 pages. Furthermore, the quality of their writing has clearly increased. The class as a whole is able to express their thoughts in written form in a more clear and cohesive manner. Every student has made great strides at becoming becoming excellent writers.
My content area students have benefited from my growth as a teacher of writing as well. My middle-schoolers rely on content area teachers to help provide skills like writing and reading non-fiction. Over the past two years I have gained the ability to better provide for this need. This year my 6th grade social studies class have created multi-genre projects, written poems, read non-fiction text or historical fiction about the areas we are studying, and so much more. I believe I have done more than just teach my content area. I have helped to impart an ability to research, collaborate, and present knowledge in a way that they will be able to take with them throughout their educational careers and whatever profession they choose.
Even though I am excited to see how my over all instruction has improved, I know there is still work to be done. In writing, I am currently work on conferencing more with students about their writing. Feedback about writing is essential to helping writers grow. Just over the past couple of weeks I can see the difference in students work because they know that conference is coming. I plan to continue my growth as a teacher of writing and can’t wait to see the affect it will have on my students.