There is a huge difference between teaching writing and assigning writing. At Beechwood, we use the Writers Workshop model to teach writing at our school. We've been implementing for at least 4 years now. Today was a staff development day where we hired experts in this field to expand our "horizons of observation." As we become expert in our practices, we need to find those people who are beyond our current level to serve as mentors.
One of my big learnings from today, was that we need to be writers ourselves in order to truly understand the tools of the craft. We must model both in our daily lives as well as in our classrooms.
I was so proud of the Beechwood teachers as they developed artifacts that they will use with their own students. Our kids LOVE to see their teachers modeling their own writing and hearing stories from their lives outside of school. Last week, I was in a classroom during workshop time. The students were gathering ideas and picking seeds to develop further. I showed a fourth grade girl my own "writers notebook" which is an extensive list on my phone of topics I can later turn into blog posts. Her eyes lit up when she realized that her principal actively practices the traits of a writer.
Yes, we write grocery lists, parent emails, and greeting cards at Christmas. In order for us to be the "best in the world" with this practice, we need to see ourselves as not just teachers, but as authors.
A huge thank you to Momentum in Teaching @momentum_teach our trainers for today who are helping us along this journey! In addition, a huge thank you to Lucy Calkins whose life's work is leaving a legacy of responsive teachers of writing.