The biggest paradigm shift I have made in the area of writing happened as a result of participating in the SOL16 March Challenge. Before that time, I was a teacher of writing. I read about writing. I attended writing classes. I had a writer’s notebook in which a few demonstration seeds had been planted and I tried out a few ideas (also for the purpose of teaching)-that’s it.
After I participated in the SOL16, I knew what it meant to BE A WRITER! I was on the look-out for writing ideas all throughout my day. My camera was my friend. My notebook was in my purse, awaiting scribbles of ideas. I was thinking about writing almost every minute of the day. And…I wrote each day. (Interestingly enough, these have been mini lesson topics in my class!)
How do I know I’m a writer? I write. And…I tell everyone about my writing experience. It may sound lame, but I am excited about writing! I have shifted my teaching ideas. I want my students to experience what I did and the transformation it brought. I want my students to know what it is to write like that: to scour their world for ideas, to publish for others, to write for an audience that READS what they write, to be on pins and needles waiting to read others’ comments, etc.
I think to shift students’ thinking from the task of writing in Writer’s Workshop to the idea of, “I am a writer”, they have to experience what I experienced. To this end, I am working on developing a small “replica” of the SOL challenge. I’ll let you know what students think when they are done.
P.S. Thanks Two Writing Teachers for transforming me so that I can now say, “I am a writer.”