[NCTE-TALK:2405] Re: Should writing teachers write?

Michelle McCord (michemc@bgnet.bgsu.edu)
Sat, 20 Jan 1996 15:02:28 -0500

On Wed, 17 Jan 1996 MarthaB890@aol.com wrote:

> While I have been reading messages on this listserv for many months now, I
> have never sent one until now, but I am really caught up in this discussion
> about teachers writing with their students. I don't really think it is a
> matter of time. Let's face it, we all are busy people, but we find the time
> to do what we want to do and what we need to do. Priorities. What's the
> real issue here? Why don't we as writing teachers find the time to write?
> (and I'm as guilty of this as the next person) I think it's because of the
> same reason I haven't participated on this listserv--we're scared. The same
> way our students are scared. What if what we write is perceived as stupid?
> What if what we say is rejected? Writing is personal in a way that almost
> nothing else is. We are attached to our writing. It becomes us in a sense.
> Why is getting back a paper with a million corrections on it worse than
> getting back math problems that are almost all incorrect? What's the fear
> here, the risk? Any thoughts on this?
> --Martha Bogart
Martha and other friends of the list (smile),

I couldn't believe how much your message, Martha, really hit me about
writing being very personal, even when many, if not all of us, are
considered some sort of expert. I am very vulnerable when it comes to my
writing, which is probably why I flinch every time I send a message to
this list, hoping I don't get a cutting response from one of the
"seasoned" teachers telling me my thoughts/writing is "not worth
anything." I do agree, though, that if we must ask our students to share
their work with us--and have them share certain pieces with the entire
class (which I do) then we must garner the same courage it takes them to
do this. Didn't we have plenty of experience with this in college?
(smile). Before I student taught, I would have never shared my work with
my students; however, my cooperating teacvher really encouraged me to do
so, and the respect I gained from my students was well worth the sweat it
may have caused me at the time. For as much as I feel I don't have time
to do such things with my students, the benefits are well worth the