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INBOX Ideas - Previous Revision

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Writing in the Summer
from NCTE INBOX 5-15

This time of year, there seems to be a focus on summer reading for students as well as teachers. There should also be an opportunity for summer writing -- writing for renewal, writing to inform, writing for comprehension. The following resources from NCTE share how educators can use the summer as a time for writing for many different purposes and for many different audiences.

The Norman Mailer Center and NCTE are pleased to invite submissions for the 2012 Norman Mailer Writing Award for High School Teachers. Full- and part-time high school teachers are eligible to enter the competition. From five finalists, one winner will be selected to receive a $10,000 cash prize along with travel and lodging to attend the Norman Mailer Center’s Annual Gala on October 4, 2012, in New York City, where the Mailer Prize and the Norman Mailer High School and College Writing Awards are also presented. The winner will also receive a fellowship to the prestigious Norman Mailer Writers Colony during the summer of 2013.

The Language Arts article "Mapping Our Stories: Teachers' Reflections on Themselves as Writers" shares how a group of linguistically diverse teachers come to identify themselves as writers by drawing neighborhood maps and writing personal narratives about childhood memories.

"Teachers must also be writers," says the author of "Remaining Seated: Lessons Learned by Writing" from Voices from the Middle. Through a National Writing Project experience, the author recognized the power of process, feedback, audience, modeling, and thinking. Being a writer and sharing the successful strategies she learned as an NWP fellow has helped her students grow as both thinkers and writers.

"How Has Your Own Work as a Writer Helped You as an English Teacher?" This question was posed to several teachers, and their responses are shared in this English Journal article. The educators share how receiving feedback, getting a rejection, and limiting prompts made them rethink writing in their own classrooms.

How can teachers use journals as part of their own growth and professional development? The English Education article "Sharing Journals: Conversational Mirrors for Seeing Ourselves as Learners, Writers, and Teachers" found several ways:

  • Teachers write frequently about their insights into writing and reading.
  • They explore their assumptions in light of the conflicting views among the authors they are encountering in the research literature.
  • They discuss their anxieties about writing, of feeling exposed through their writing, their discomfort with the mess and uncertainty of writing.
  • They consider the value of teachers being writers themselves.


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