Good Things Happen When Teachers Write


As I sit staring at a blank screen and a flashing cursor, I am struck with a cold realization…this is what writing feels like for many of my students.

The English teachers I know love to plan strong, authentic writing experiences for students. We work hard to identify mentor texts, build scaffolds and conference with students.

However, when I am not writing myself, I lose some of the empathy that exists among fellow writers.

What is hard about the particular project?

Where do I need more support?

Would it help to talk to another writer about the sticking points?

I believe I am a better teacher when I write alongside my students.

The wise and wonderful Penny Kittle wrote, ““What power–what importance–lies in the blank lines of an open notebook. Go and fill yours. Then share.”

Time to start filling my blank pages.

5 thoughts on “Good Things Happen When Teachers Write

  1. I agree! I truly believe that being a reader and writer yourself is the best way to become a stronger reading and writing teacher. Being a reader is so much easier for me. I have to work at being a writer. The Slice of Life Challenge has been a great way for me to jump in, stick with it, sink into the struggle, develop empathy for student writers, and reflect on my thinking and processes as a writer. While it has been a challenging experience, it has been a powerful learning experience!


  2. There is not enough empathy in education. Writing besides our children places teachers on equal footing with our students, and therefore allows us to experience similar struggles.


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