I know what you are going to think: Don’t you have other things you can be doing? But I was fascinated by the sheer amount of information and data that was in an opening survey for this month’s Slice of Life challenge with Two Writing Teachers.
I had used the results of the shared survey to look at the imbalance of men versus women writers the other day but then I noticed a whole section where we who took the survey self-identified our status as teachers.
So I counted up the answers from the 300-plus resondents (although a few left that section blank) and then I created a chart to show how so many of us Slicers are well into our teaching career. That’s not a surprise, I guess, but I do wonder how a community like Slice of Life or Two Writing Teachers can best reach out to teachers in the early parts of their career, to encourage them as writers.
I’m not putting this on Two Writing Teachers to figure out, but certainly, as a member of the National Writing Project who leads professional development in our area, it’s an issue we have to continue to grapple with.
If we want to change the nature of classrooms, and improve access to authentic writing activities that counter the narrative of “standardized testing,” then we need to draw in a wider range of teachers, particularly those educators just starting out. No doubt, many of them are seeking resources and mentors and guidance and suggestions. I know I was, and I know that connecting with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project is what saved my sanity that first year.
How can we continue to pay it forward?
Peace (in the think),