This I Believe

“This I Believe”

            Teachers of writing should love to write. They should find comfort in words, language, and letters. They should have stories, feelings, and ideas that they are dying to put onto paper. They should have an endless amount of freshly sharpened No. 2 pencils, and even more erasers. They should be able to label a blank keyboard. They should be one with the writing process. They should write every day, about whatever they want. They should have pieces of writing to share, some to publish, and others to be kept private.

Teachers of writing should love to read. They should know that writing and reading are best friends, so tightly interrelated that it would be impossible to tear them apart. They should read, reread, and then repeat. They should read to themselves; they should read aloud. They should read with fluency. They should find pleasure in a book, that indescribable feeling of being sucked into a whole new world. They should read from different genres, forms, and authors. They should read their own pieces, as well as writing done by friends, family, students, and strangers.

Teachers of writing should love to teach. They should love to be around young people, and have a passion for the greatest career on Earth. They should do everything they can to ensure this next generation is a successful one, in every way possible. They should know that each student is an individual: they learn at different paces, have different strengths, enjoy different things, and think different ways. They should be supportive of all of these differences, and be able to individually reach out to each specific one. They should be knowledgeable and professional. They should challenge their students. They should encourage complex thinking. They should stress process, not product. They should incorporate technology and real world experiences into the classroom. They should promote a balance of social collaboration and independence. They should prepare students for life as a citizen of society.

Teachers of writing should allow for discovery. They should allow for freedom. They should create a place without judgment. They should innovate those students who don’t think they can, and enrich those students who know that they can. They should ensure that everyone has the ability to write. They should meet the creativity of all students. They should introduce all students to all types of writing.

Teachers of writing should write with their students. They should take the lead. They should lead by example. They should exemplify leaders. They should model expectations. They should expect model work. They should experience the prompts. They should check their grammar and spelling. They should use a red pen on their own papers. They should share the bond that writing makes.

Teachers of writing should love to learn. They should attend professional development workshops. They should come into work every morning and expect to leave that afternoon with something new. They should appreciate the individuality and creativity of their students. They should learn from each student, as development leads to production. They should be aware of the latest advancements in technology. They should read about children, education, psychology, and family sciences, but should know that there is no better way to learn than actual classroom experience.

Teachers of writing should love to inspire. They should recognize that some students love to write, and other students hate it. They should understand that some students are scared of writing. They should model good writing. They should encourage students to express their feelings with words. They should promote the use of imagination. They should create activities that are unique and allow for individuality to shine. They should be eccentric and passionate. They should be supportive and helpful. They should be a student’s best resource.

Teachers of writing should be real. They should have stories, feelings, and ideas. They should read real things. They should teach the real truth. They should learn from real people. They should inspire for real life.

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