I have a confession to make…I have been a writing teacher in hiding for many years. I could easily see myself as a language, grammar, and reading teacher, but the writing teacher in me cowered behind excuses about my limited writing skills and my personal frustrations with the writing process itself. I always viewed writing as a lonely process done in isolation. I believed strong writers didn’t need anyone to help them and I never felt confident enough to call myself a writer.
As a teacher of English Learners, I watched my students struggle with some of the same frustrations I had let limit me. In addition, fragmented English and limited vocabulary made them believe they could never become writers. Over the years, I have learned how to slowly build their confidence and help them find their voices.
I am relatively new to ITW, but it has already changed my view of my role as a writing teacher. I have found a group of colleagues that truly want to help all students improve their writing. I have taken on personal writing challenges, like applying for a Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant, and found new avenues for encouraging my students to write through the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
If you are having trouble viewing yourself as a writing teacher, I encourage you to re-examine that mindset and look at the ways you already are a writing teacher. Teachers in every content area teach writing. If you need or want a support system for becoming a skilled writer and a more effective teacher, then I invite you to join ITW. It will change the way you see yourself and challenge you in ways that you can’t even imagine!