WE MUST HONOR STUDENTS' GOD-GIVEN PURPOSES WHEN THEY WRITE AND PROVIDE THEM WITH PURPOSEFUL WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
WE NEED TO HAVE COMPASSION ON THOSE STUDENTS EXPERIENCING WRITER'S BLOCK, NOT JUDGING THEM BUT RATHER LOOKING AT WHAT ABOUT OUR COURSES ARE NOT SERVING THEIR PURPOSES AS WRITERS

OUR STUDENTS NEED AND WANT TO BE HEARD FOR WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY/WRITE, NOT NECESSARILY HOW THEY SAY IT

OUR STUDENTS WANT AND NEED TO BE HEARD FOR WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY/WRITE, NOT NECESSARILY HOW THEY SAY IT.  WHEN STUDENTS' WRITING IS DRIVEN BY AN IMPERATIVE TO BE HEARD AND UNDERSTOOD, WE NEED TO RESERVE OUR TENDENCY TO BE CORRECTIONISTS.  INSTEAD, WE NEED TO BE LISTENING TEACHERS WHO WORK TO HEAR WHAT THE STUDENTS ARE TRYING TO SAY/WRITE AND THEN ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING/WRITING FIRST BEFORE GETTING OUT THE GRAMMAR PENS.   INSTEAD OF CORRECTING THEM, WE CAN VIEW OUR ROLES AS HELPING OUR STUDENTS TO BETTER EXPRESS WHAT THEY NEED/WANT TO SAY/WRITE BY ASKING THEM PROBING QUESTIONS AND PROVIDING HELPFUL COMMENTARY THAT DEMONSTRATES TO THE STUDENTS THAT THEY ARE BEING HEARD AND WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY/WRITE IS IMPORTANT AND MATTERS, TO BOTH US AS TEACHERS AND TO AN AUDIENCE/COMMUNITY BEYOND THE CLASSROOM.    STUDENTS OFTEN WANT THEIR WRITING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN AN ARENA LARGER THAN A CLASSROOM, AND IT IS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY ARE WRITING FOR A LARGER ARENA THAT DRIVES THEIR NEED TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES.  WE, AS COMPOSITION TEACHERS, NEED TO BE MORE THAN SIMPLY TASKMASTERS AND CORRECTIONISTS BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY WE NEED TO BE ATTENTIVE LISTENERS TO AND ENCOURAGERS OF OUR STUDENTS' EFFORTS TO BE HEARD AND UNDERSTOOD FOR WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY/WRITE TO THE LARGER WORLD BEYOND OUR CLASSROOMS.

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