Writing is emotionally demanding

By Teresa Cremin, Professor of Literacy in Education, The Open University 

Writing is emotionally demanding for adults as well as children. The challenge of being able to marshal ideas and combine them, (let alone frame those thoughts into words, sentences and texts appropriate to purpose and audience), is substantial. A highly complex cognitive, social and emotional activity, writing remains demanding even as we become more experienced. Think of writing that letter of application, card to a bereaved friend, academic assignment, blog or confidential email… each can make us feel like a novice again as we stretch to find the most effective words – words which work for us as well as our readers.  The journey towards satisfaction is often fraught with feelings of uncertainty and insecurity. Continue reading “Writing is emotionally demanding”

Thinking like a writer

By Cliff Yates, poet, Arvon tutor and Writer Co-Mentor on the Teachers as Writers Project

Arvon changes you – the workshops, the tutorials, the time to write – you’re so immersed in the process of writing that you come away thinking like a writer.

It was such a pleasure working on this project alongside two enthusiastic teachers who had recently completed the Teachers as Writers Arvon week. Participating in an Arvon course and thinking like a writer has a transformative effect on your teaching. Continue reading “Thinking like a writer”

Appropriate technology?

By Ian Eyres, Senior Lecturer, The Open University

I won’t say how long ago it was that I took my driving test, but it did include a section where I had to perform hand signals. As is so often the way with exams, that was the last time I ever used hand signals when driving a car. I was reminded of this bit of unnecessary learning by something one of the Teachers as Writers  teachers said at the recent professional learning and sharing day in Exeter: if children’s school writing is done mostly using pen and paper, are we preparing them for life in which almost all writing is done electronically? Continue reading “Appropriate technology?”

Life beyond the door

By Dr Anthony Wilson, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter

Last week saw an important milestone for Teachers as Writers. The CPD/feedback day gave everyone involved in the project – teachers, writers and researchers – a chance to catch their breath and reflect on what has been achieved in the classroom as a result of the intervention. We used a very simple format. Every teacher/writer pairing was given eight minutes to tell their stories and share what has been happening in their classrooms. The results were a joyful celebration of collaboration, tenacity, imagination and, above all, what Seamus Heaney called the ‘power and scope’ of writing. Continue reading “Life beyond the door”