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Creating a Safe Space for Classroom Writing

You may remember Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs from your teacher training. This hierarchy, shaped like a pyramid, reminds us that humans must have certain needs met before they can actualize others.

At the base of the pyramid are the basic, life-giving needs: food, shelter, water, etc., followed by safety and community. Without these things, other growth needs cannot be met: self-actualization, confidence, creativity and so on.

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It is important to remember how this hierarchy plays out in our writing classrooms.

If we want our students to grow as writers, they must first feel a sense of safety in expressing and sharing their ideas in writing and with each other in the feedback process. That feeling of safety will lead to the establishment of a writing community which will lead to thriving writers.

But can we create a safe space for writing in our classroom?

Teach students how to respond to each other as writers.</