Friday, March 22, 2013


As a writing teacher, I've found that for most writing assignments, there are three types of student products. There are the kids that totally get the task and usually write something super-creative and often outside the box. Their work is fun to read and easy to assess.

Then, there are kids who, for a variety of reasons, choose to meet the specified requirements as best they can, nothing more, and sometimes quite a bit less. Those often formulaic pieces can make you seriously question the rubric, if not your career choice.

And then there are some kids who approach the assignment earnestly and so end up composing something that expresses a heartfelt truth for them. No matter the initial technical quality, that writing is a delight to read and a pleasure to help revise, because the student authors care so much about it.

Is it unrealistic to work toward a class where drudgery is banned and the middle group is null? I hope not.


  1. I had a student complain today that I expected too much from him. He is a quest kid (gifted), and I didn't know it until half way through the year. Why do they waste such talent?

  2. Creating a real workshop, where kids take pride in and ownership of their work and see their work as their own, is a tough job. Too often students think they are doing "school writing" not their own writing. It sounds like you are getting some of your kids to write for themselves. That is a wonderful accomplishment. Build on it.

  3. Your description was so true. I remember papers that were perfect spelling, grammar, etc but as boring and such a struggle to read. And then I would get one like the one I wrote about earlier...Don't throw Aigs at was priceless. You sound like you really enjoy what you do...your students are lucky. Jackie