Writing teacher, as you create your writing world in your classroom, you want to be sure that you are not just observing your students writing but you are participating as a novice/developing/expert writer. (You decide the word that best fits you as a writer.) No matter what your perceived level, everyone is working on growing as a writer!
Like your students, you need to set yourself up for writing success by having your own writer’s notebook. Keeping a writer’s notebook will help you to see yourself as a writer and to build your confidence as a writing teacher. It can be a physical notebook or an online notebook. In this post, I am going to be referring to using a physical notebook because in some lessons I will use some of the work in my notebook to demonstrate or model different teaching points.
Having a writer’s notebook lets your students see that you are willing to write alongside them and show them how you work as a writer. In addition to this, as you do the same work, share writing strategies and specific writing skills, you will have more understanding of some of the writing difficulties that they experience, and how to address their individual needs.
You may feel uncomfortable with the idea of writing in front of your students, but do not let that put you off. I have felt the same way (and sometimes still do), but the more I write with my students the easier it gets. Remember, you are growing as a writer the same way they are. Seeing you write will encourage them to try new things in their writing!
As your students tackle different writing assignments, you should also try them. You do not have to complete all of them, you just need to write enough to demonstrate a specific teaching point. Also, keep in mind there will be some students who will have successfully mastered the skill or strategy. Their work can be shared with the rest of the class. I do recommend aiming to take some of your work to completion as it will help your students to see and understand the writing process. Which work to complete will probably depend on your writing unit. Maybe aim for at least one published piece for each genre you teach.
As you write in your writer’s notebook and share your writing successes and struggles with your students, you will be amazed at how it will inspire them. Try it and see what happens!
Happy Writer’s Notebook Hunting!