Just Do It (part one)

Writers write.  Pick up any resource on the craft of writing and somewhere you’ll find the statement, write everyday.

However, when it comes to writing in the classroom, there seems to be little time for it.  How do we expect children to improve their writing skills if they never have a chance to write?

Think about it.  How many teachers assign writing topics, asking the students to write the perfect paragraph, story, or essay within a tiny slot of time–squeezed between science and math? 

Handing in the so-called writing samples, the students then wait until the teacher needs another sample.

Sure, they may be given practice sheets to build grammar skills or vocabulary, but how will someone ever become proficient in anything unless they are allowed the time to practice?  I mean, how many professional baseball players do you know that never practiced swinging a bat or throwing a ball?

As a writer, I am and will always be learning.  I love to read about other writers.  I love to listen to their interviews and study the ins and outs of the craft.  However, I will never improve my own writing unless I actually do it.  That’s it.  I must write as much as I can and as often as possible.  Just like the baseball player must learn to use the ball and bat, I must pick up the pen and paper and learn how to use them.  And as I do, I learn my own tricks of the trade.

As teachers, let’s give our students the opportunity to write–not for grades or tests, or for some skill we want to see mastered.  Let us allow them to have fun experimenting with their words, so that they can discover for themselves the writer that lies within.

Not sure how to squeeze in that writing time?  Stay tuned for more on this topic. . .


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