Student Writers

From experience as an education major and working as an assistant teacher, I have noticed that kids react strongly to the kind of criticism (constructive or otherwise) that they receive. For instance, telling them, “At least you’re trying” would be better than “Why aren’t you getting this? It shouldn’t have to be so hard” because they might think there’s no point in trying. If you encourage them by say how they improve their skills every, they will begin to believe that they can do even better next time. In “The Right to Write Badly,” Vicki Spandel emphasizes the importance of not expecting children to know something right away or that they’re not allowed to make mistakes. They need to be reminded that it’s okay to not get something right the first time. That way, they will feel  even more proud when they finally understand the material. The responsibility of writing coaches, I have learned, is to guide students to where they can be comfortable with their writing. They can help them before going to their teachers as a last resort if they are still struggling. Obviously, a student’s peers are not obligated to help their classmate, but since they often have the same assignment, it can be good to get advice from someone who possibly has the same writing process.






  1. EmilyB · March 8, 2016

    My personal writing process actually involves not getting it right the first time. I think a big part of our job is directing our students to that place where their ideas flourish and are communicated well. No one can get that out right away. I really enjoyed Spandel’s article because of the way she puts this. She compared student’s writing to spiders weaving their web. They must first make the silk, the building blocks before there can be an intricate design.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cmddancer · April 21, 2016

    Jordan, I really value your attention to young writers’ needs and how important this is as they begin to take risks with writing. This is a part of teaching writing that we can easily forget when we are bogged down in the heavy grading load. Thank you for highlighting it here!


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