The Writing Environment
Our last writing session was a bit stressful for me. I can’t be sure if it was the location, or the time constraints, but I wandered out of the classroom immediately after the assignment was made. I have to be able to “hear” myself think when writing something of any length or significance. Writing isn’t foreign to me, by any means. I do it everyday, like most of my colleagues. I sent 193 work related emails between Monday morning and Friday afternoon, (yes, I counted), and that is a pretty slow week in the cyber mail world for me. In addition, I have written a couple of letters of recommendation, a staff development plan, and a teacher observation plan, not to mention several parent letters and a multitude of discipline narratives. But writing for a class, on a specific topic, is quite different.
I think the thing that stood out to me the most about the previous session was the feedback provided, not just by the instructors, but my classmates as well. While we have had limited time to make use of the formal peer feedback process, several students took advantage of the time together and shared their work. I continue to adjust my perception of peer evaluations (mentioned in my previous post), but have begun to embrace the concept of feedback versus editing, especially after witnessing, and participating in, the informal process with my colleagues. In the past, sharing written work was something I generally did after the final product had been refined and honed, but I think the practice of sharing with others, while in the draft phase, might be a beneficial step previously bypassed.