Having a writing habit has many benefits, including having an outlet for creativity, a process for clarifying thinking, and a tangible product of memories and thoughts.
It is not surprising to find that many teachers are writers too. They find the creative outlet both nourishing and energizing.
But the benefits extend way beyond the teacher-writer to their students too.
Here's how student-writers benefit when their teacher is a writer too:
1. When a teacher shares their writing vulnerabilities, fears, and struggles, students come to understand that struggle is a part of being a writer, not the result of doing something wrong.
2. Teachers who write understand the importance of being provided choice in their writing and are more likely to offer that same choice to their student-writers.
3. Students can learn from authentic texts written by the author who is standing right before them. Mentor texts take on new meaning.
4. The instruction students receive is more customized because teachers who write see those 'in-between' skills that students need that are missing from a writing program and can adapt their curriculum.
5. Students are more engaged with writing when they know that their teacher is a writer too. They see you walking the talk which increases your credibility and enriches your classroom writing community.
6. Conversations about writing run deeper in a writing conference when students and teachers talk writer-to-writer.
7. Students set more scaffolded goals. A teacher who writes often has a better feeling for the next step students need to take to grow as a writer.
8. Students are more inclined to be risk-takers with their writing when they see their teacher doing the same. This risk-taking can lead to great growth.
9. Students are often given more regular writing time and skipping a day of writing is less likely to happen. When a teacher writes, she understands the importance of building a regular habit and makes writing time non-negotiable, just like daily reading and math class.
10. Because students are writing more, setting better goals, and are more engaged with writing, their writing progress grows. They are better prepared for the writing they will do throughout school and life.
When a teacher has a writing habit, it is a win-win for everyone!
Ready to give writing for yourself a try? Check out these resources:
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Jen Laffin is the founder of Teach Write LLC and Jen Laffin Coaching. As a former teacher, Jen understands first-hand how much easier it is to teach writing when you are a writer yourself. She offers workshops for teacher-writers as well as life coaching for anyone looking to up-level their life. Connect with Jen on social media at @TeachWriteEDU and @JenLaffinCoaching.