“As my teacher put it, “Fowler, your writing always seems to spread weeps.” And so I did not share that piece with anyone outside of my AP class for a long time.”
Wow! This is just another big reminder of what impact teachers have on students.
First of all, I need to be very careful about how I say things because it might be perceived in a different way then I intend it. When I see how this teacher responded to Laurie, I wonder if this teacher meant it as a compliment and Laurie perceived it in a negative context. I also think the teacher should have watched to see how this comment affected the student in case this happened. I wonder if I thought I was complimenting a student and instead the student was offended. Of course, since I felt like I gave a compliment, I would not have felt that I needed to follow up with anything else. Yet, I might have caused my student to withdraw instead of flourish.
I believe that if a writer can cause a reader to feel some kind of emotion, then the writer has accomplished something positive. If something I read doesn’t make me feel something, then I find it is boring. I might disagree with the writer or feel that the writer has me confused. But my feeling doesn’t have to be negative and can be a feeling of agreement, excitement, motivation, or inspiration as well.
When I teach my students about writing, I encourage them to use words that draw a picture or make the readers use their senses. The reason for this is so that the reader can feel something. But I need to continue to make my students understand the reasons for their actions.
I don’t want to stifle anyone’s writing. I need to help my students know that there are different reasons for writing as well as different audiences. I may write differently if I am the main audience and I want to reflect on my feelings than I would if I want to persuade other professionals to do something. I don’t think either kind of writing is better than the other. The purpose is important and that determines the type of writing that is required.
I really enjoy Laurie’s writing and I think I do because her writing makes me “feel.” Her post made me feel that I had to write a blog post about it. It was a thought provoking post that made me think about my own practices.
If you have time, please read her post and let me know what you think.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original image: 'Io ci metto il complesso di immagini...'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11464033@N00/3041614511 by: Matteo Scordino