I’ve been learning how to use Twitter lately.
I know, you all are thinking that I’m in my 20s and I should have already mastered this technology. If I’m honest though, I didn’t see the point until just a couple weeks ago. Don’t get me wrong, I had created a Twitter account almost a year ago for professional purposes; I just never took the time to figure out how to use it.
Now I’m slowly figuring it out.
And in figuring it out I have been overwhelmed with the amount of articles and information right at my finger tips. I love reading people’s thoughts about teaching English, reading, and writing. And I’m slowly becoming addicted.
Part of the reason that I’m making the jump to Twitter is because of a class: ENGL 517. ENGL 517 is a “topics” class at my University. It changes from semester to semester and this semester it happens to be about Public Policy and Writing.
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it.
If I’m being honest, I took it because it’s the last required class (other than my MA project) that I have to take and I’m ready to graduate.
But I was surprised. I love it.
We’re all being asked to create an Action Plan about an issue that has to do with writing and/or teaching writing. I came up with something last week and now I want to share it with you all: Helping Students Enjoy Writing.
That’s my issue. At first, I felt like I was being too idealistic, but aren’t most teachers “idealistic”? We want students to succeed. We want them to enjoy learning, reading, and more.
So, with my mom’s sounding board help, I came up with a way to, hopefully, put that into practice. Let me explain some of my thinking to you:
First off, the basic idea: A Writing Incentive Program
Yes, I realize it needs a cooler name. But I started thinking, libraries are places that support reading. They also seem to be in the perfect position to support writing, because, well, someone has to write all those books that fill the shelves in the libraries.
And during the summer libraries have Reading Incentive Programs (usually with cooler names) that offer prizes to kids who read a certain number of pages or books.
Why not do the same with writing?
Why not offer students incentives (prizes) for the amount of writing that they choose to do? And maybe it wouldn’t focus on the number of pages written (though it could), but on the number of genres the students explore through writing. Maybe then students could find a genre that they enjoying writing in!
I feel like my head is spinning with ideas and I don’t even know how to put them all down on paper yet. I just know that I don’t want to force kids to write because all too often that takes the enjoyment out of it and then my students dread it. And I want students to be able to try out many different genres, because maybe all it will take is finding that ONE genre they enjoy.
This could branch out in so many ways… writing workshops hosted by the library, writing circles, displays/publications of the work these students produce…
My brain is spinning. I may be an idealist, but I’m passionate about positive writing experiences.
What do you think? What would you add? What would you do differently? Thoughts? Please??