When I first think about teaching writing, I begin to get anxious. This anxious feeling comes from believing that writing is such a crucial aspect within a student's education. Once the anxious feeling is suppressed, I am able to focus on my personal core principles of writing.
A major core principle that I value and enact in my classroom is the idea of planning or pre-writing. With this critical stage of writing valued, my students see the importance of getting their ideas down on paper without any judgements. In a way this is a time for them to brainstorm and work through many ideas that could later be turned into fully developed writing pieces. But without a great emphasis put onto planning and pre-writing, students are able to create works of art with their writing.
The one aspect within the writing process that I value is meeting or conferring with my students as often as possible. I believe that through these writing conferences, a teacher is able to understand and get to know their students on another level as well as seeing a students strengths and weaknesses with writing. Once a student's strengths and weaknesses are identified then a teacher can better target their instruction.
My love and need to conference with my students along with teaching and implementing the planning and pre-writing stage with my students are remained constant throughout my various experiences with children. I have been able to adapt and transform my writing values with various grade levels, while still keeping conferencing and pre-writing a part of the writing process.
There can be a number of challenges that are faced by both teachers and students when using new age technologies. Many students now have computers in their homes, which makes them at a greater advantage when told to use a computer to word process a final piece of writing. On the other hand, there are students who may not have a personal computer at home or have only used a computer for games or internet use, so they will not be familiar with any word processing systems. So the teacher may need to gear their instruction to target these students. With the large amount and fast pace at which new technologies are coming about, it may be difficult for teachers to keep current.
If there was infinite amount of time in the school day and even the school year, I would love to be able to devote a large amount of time to writing and working through the various stages of writing. But with all the pressures that are placed on teachers with curriculum, standards and testing, there is just not enough time in the day and year to devote endless amounts of time to writing within the classroom.