Bringing the Enjoyment Back into Writing
I’m a really passionate writing teacher — I love teaching writing — but I’m always looking for ways to improve because I was dissatisfied with my results and see it as a reflection of myself. What I was doing before was successful with some students, but there were so many I wasn’t reaching.
I’ve got a dyslexic boy in my class who really struggles, and his dad came in a couple of weeks ago and he was struggling with the homework I set. There was a lot of writing involved and his dad just said, “I’m dyslexic too, and I struggle with doing your homework with my son. I really need a scaffold for him.”
He said, “I’ve seen my son using Write that Essay, can we do WTE for homework instead of your homework?”
Instead of my weekly homework, his job is to do one piece of writing and it’s all set out for him. I just thought it was great because dad really struggles as well and he said:
WTE is so great because I can see what my son is doing and I can see the plan and I can actually help him with the individual details. I wish I had this programme at school.
That is one end of the spectrum, and at the other end I have some really top writers in my extension class and they have just taken the WTE skills and run with them.
One girl in my class said, Mrs Bennett, “Why have I never seen this before? Why have I never been taught this before?”
We ask them attitude questions in some of their e-asTTle tests, about how they about writing and usually it’s pretty much their worst subject and they don’t really love doing it in their spare time. But now, the attitude towards it is so much more positive. They have confidence in themselves as writers.
As a teacher, everything in the programme is there for you. I would spend hours searching online—going to the resource room—trying to cobble together an amazing lesson plan. But the teacher activities are fantastic. In terms of my planning it is clear and sequential, and I find it a massive time saver. I enjoy teaching writing now. I really feel like I’m making a difference with my students: I can see it.
|Teacher||Tui Bennett, Literacy Leader|
|Key Impact||Improving student confidence|