Thursday, October 9, 2008

Topic: Why Writing Teachers Should Write

10-second review: Teachers who write can empathize with their students.

Title: “Teacher As Writer: Remembering the Agony, Sharing the Ecstasy.” DJ Augsburger. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (April 1998), 548-552. A publication of the International Reading Association (IRA).

Quote: “As a teacher who writes, I can remember and guide my students through the agony of writing. I can share the ecstasy and communicate the value of writing for an audience. And I am better able to guide my students through the process with useful feedback in a supportive community of fellow writers. I am ready with an enthusiastic answer and real examples when students ask, ‘Why write?’ ”

Comment: “I’ll never forget the first time I wrote for publication (“Increasing Elementary Teachers’ Reading of Professional Journals: An Inservice Program.” Reading Teacher (January 1982), 390-394). I learned a great deal about reviews of research before introducing my idea and about how to have people constructively review my work before submitting it for publication (no comments on grammar, spelling or judgments as to the article’s being good or bad, but only questions about what is not clear).

At first the peer reviewers rejected my article saying that “everybody knows this” (I received about twenty letters of gratitude from even people who worked at the International Reading Association, the publisher of the journal, and a request to republish by another journal). But the editor liked it and suggested I make some changes (supportive research) and resubmit.

Indeed, I did become more sensitive to the struggles my students were having in learning to write. I don’t care how much experience in writing I have had, I will never stop learning how to write, since each new project requires a whole new set f problems.

What were your experiences in writing and/or publishing? RayS.

This blog, English Education Archives, reviews articles of contemporary interest from past English education journals.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I totally agree that writing teachers should write. Could you imagine learning how to drive from a teacher who doesn't know how to drive? Or a medical resident learning surgery from a doctor who has never performed surgery?

I have submitted a couple of children's books for publication, and have had a few rejections. It is tough, especially when they don't give you any tips. It makes me realize the fear some students have when they write something for a teacher. They might take it personally.

I have also had several ideas accepted for a teaching magazine, and it feels great!