It’s hard to believe this semester is almost over. It’s even harder to believe how much I feel I’ve accomplished in just a few short months. My goal for the semester was to transform the types of writing my students were doing in my classroom. I was somewhat apprehensive about how I would find the time to incorporate this and even more apprehensive about how I would sell it to my students. I definitely have felt like the outlier in our program. I am the only teacher teaching high school, and even more so the only teacher not teaching actual writing and reading. How in the world was I supposed to teach writing in my biology class?
With a giant leap of faith, I set out, easing my students in with found poetry and then moving on to more difficult and various types of multigenre writing. It was definitely something the students were not used to. Though very receptive, I could see the looks on their face when I would tell them their assignment. Wait, you want me to write an obituary for cell signals? With a little creativity and planning, I was able to rework several assignments into these multigenre forms. Definitely my most valuable resource this semester has been the book I received, Fearless Writing by Tom Romano. It has definitely inspired me and given me a lot of great ideas that I have been able to adapt to my classroom.
What this has really taught me is this: any teacher can and should work writing into their class. I’ve learned so much through this endeavor. First of being that writing, that requires thought and creativity, is very doable and at the end of the day much more meaningful in the classroom. Not to mention fun to do and much more fun for me to read! Another thing is that students will always seem to surprise you! I tasked my students with some very out-of-the-box assignments this semester, and they nearly always not only rose to the challenge, but completely blew me away.
As I look toward the end of the semester in these last few weeks, I am looking forward to putting together my professional development piece, in hopes that I will be able to share with my colleagues and inspire them to teach writing in their curriculum as well!