Reading “The Age of Composition” on Jeff’s blog let me reflect about my own history of writing and how it changed in my personal and teaching life.
I have never felt very confident writing about something, no matter whether it is in my mother tongue German or now in English. The worries about being superficial, not to say anything new, not finding the right words or just about spelling conventions are always there. I don’t have any good writing memories of my own school life, but I do remember seeing my parents writing letters. For a while as a teenager I had a lot of pen pals so I got a letter each single day. I loved it. I also wrote letters in notebooks with female best friends and a personal diary. It was obviously very, very meaningful for me. Since then I think writing was more or less always for assessments at university or resulting of work. Sure, once in a while I’m writing a personal postcard or email. But that’s it.
It seems to be clear where the insecurity is coming from. BUT I’m ready to jump into a new writing challenge, to become more confident and to build my network which enriches my life so much. It is sometimes overwhelming and it means being out of the comfort zone. But that is the way where learning is coming from, right?
In this case writing this post, it happened exactly what Jeff was describing in his blog post:
- I’m reading REACH, page 28, about Literacy Development.
- Followed the link he mentioned on that page
- Reading his blog post about “The Age of Composition”
- Created a timeline about my own writing experience in school, at home, my past years
- Yes, sat down and started composing (luckily I don’t get sick reading and writing in the car)
- and will publish the post as soon as I have internet connection again. NOW 😉
Am I on the way to develop what Jeff called in his book Network Literacy?
And how to I support my students to develop writing skills which are driven by ideas and content and not just written for the teacher? The most important point for me is that it is meaningful for the students. When I’m reflecting on few past units especially with Grade 4 & 5 I always tried hard. They wrote f.e. an instruction for a self-created magnetism game (which was presented during a short exhibition), they wrote old fashion letters to an older person to ask about the change of written communication in their life, they wrote appeals to the community to get awareness of the impact of inventions and at the moment the students are getting into the community of a wikipedia. I always aiming to keep in mind that is has to be meaningful for students as learners or for ourself as learners.