Literacy Consultant, Professional Development Provider, and Writer.

“The Power of Teachers’ Writing Stories” by Linda S Bausch

This article entitled, “The Power of Teachers’ Writing Stories: Exploring multiple layers of reflective inquiry in writing process education” was published in the “Journal of Language and Literacy Education” in 2010.  Here’s an excerpt from the article, and then you should click here to read the full version.

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teachers-as-writersThe purpose of this theoretical mixed-method study is to examine teachers’ self-assessments of their perceptions about writing development and instruction. One hundred and fifty teachers participated in a multiple-method data collection utilizing a Likert survey, extended narrative response, and sociometric networking of literacy identity (sociogram). Results indicated that there is a contradiction between the stated beliefs, self-perceptions, and descriptions of practice.This article is an explication of why examining teachers’ self-perceptions concerning themselves as writers and exploring the ways in which this self-perspective phenomenon influences the teaching of writing in their classrooms, through multiple methods, will lead to greater educational clarity of identity and practice.

The “teacher-as-writer” model of instruction is familiar to many readers of professional literature. Educators all over the country attend summer institutes, reunion days and become a part of writing workshop professional development circles in order to develop their understanding of literacy education. Early writing process researchers and practitioners have generally agreed that in order to be strong teacher of writing, writing teachers need to engage in the writing process themselves. This conclusion is based upon two reasons. First, as teachers of writing, they should practice what they teach, (e.g., the rhetorical, cognitive, and mechanical skills required in different writing situations). Second, if they seek opportunities for writing with their students, they will develop better insights into the “processes,” including challenges and values, that student writers find within the context of a particular writing assignment in the writing workshop (Brindley, R., & Jasinski-Schneider, J., 2002). Though this appears to make sense, it is this identity, teacher-as-writer, which I have found to be the most difficult and humbling experience of most educators’ lives.

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