The first of school, my students could have cared less about writing. It was not something that they did often, and when they did have to complete a writing assignment, they didn’t like it. Now, school is almost over for the year, and I can’t get them to think about much else. They write and write often. And, the great thing is that I don’t have to tell them to write. In fact, they write on their own, and they can’t wait for me to critique their work. So, how did I get those reluctant writers to begin writing more?
Be an Example
As a teacher, we must lead by example. My students know that I loved to write. They also know that I write often. It helped that I write for the local newspaper, and many of my students had read some of my articles. They later learned that I write on-line and blog. I frequently shared with them the reasons that I love to write. I talked passionately about my writing, and my students saw my excitement and wanted to be a part of it.
Publish Student Work
Many of my students did not know that they could have their writings published. So, when they saw my writing on-line, they became motivated to write their own short stories, poems, and articles. I then made it a point to submit their work to any and every writing contest that they qualified for. Yes, it was a lot of work. However, it was worth it. A few of my students won writing contests and were recognized for their work. This help to make the other students work harder and write more.
Even though my students are pre-teens, they are very opinionated. They loved to let you know what they think and how they feel. So, I let them. No, I don’t let them their feelings out or disrupt my class. Instead, I have them transfer their feelings to a journal or diary.
Use the Local Newspaper
Because my students know I write for the local newspaper, they are always telling me about things that are going on in the community or in the school. Instead of grabbing the scoop myself, I encourage them to compose new stories on their own. These are critiqued, and if they are interesting, I submit them to the local paper.
Getting students interested in writing can be difficult. However, I have found that if you show your students how much you love writing and the world opportunities that it can open up, they too will develop a love for writing.