I appreciated the article “Teacher-Writers: Then, Now, and Next” because on one hand, it opens up the very real idea that teacher writers are somewhat models for their students. Today, more than ever, students are shying away from the act of writing as if there is only one type of person that can do it and do it very well. Teacher-writers sort of shed light on the fact that writing can be this sloppy mess that is improved over time. If the students have someone who is taking on the same challenge with them, it helps the students to feel as though they are not alone in the act. Also, I feel as though it is very important to have gone through something if one is going to then teach another about it. For example, in the writing center we ask that our writing coaches take Research and Tech before they can be hired as a coach. In order to better assist the student, it is crucial to not only know about a research paper, but to have written one as well.
In addition, the article brings up the very controversial idea of what/who a writer is/can be. The article is meant to rectify the misconception that teachers can’t also be writers, as well as acknowledge the texts that they have produced and show how they can work within different contexts. It seems so easy for those who are entering the teaching world form the other side. Is the field suggesting that authors can become professors and teach about their texts, but professors cannot switch over to then be writers and do both at the same time? The three phases when breaking down the history of a teacher-writer really puts things into perspective about how teacher-writers are viewed and their positons throughout time. It is important to know the work that teachers do because they contribute so much to conversations involving education, but are just not always given a space for their voices to be heard. This lack of acknowledgement can also definitely be on the teacher-writer’s part as well if they are not as confident in their identifying as a writer simultaneously while they identify as teachers. Are they putting themselves out there enough? If not, why and how can it be fixed?
Moving along, right off the bat when starting the article “Teaching Writing Authentically” by Carly Lidvall, I immediately thought back to one of the most commonly used articles for an English composition class, which is Gerald Graff’s “Hidden Intellectualism”. The article, in a nutshell, basically explains that students are more receptive and willing to write when it is something they are genuinely interested in. Lidvall pretty much confirms this idea by stating that “students also enjoy what they are doing and are not only motivated to write but are more successful in doing so” (Lidvall 3). In many curriculums, writing is nothing more than a have-to-do evaluative spelling and grammar check. I feel the fear of writing, then, is attached to poor instruction of the foundation, which comes from learning spelling and grammar etc.
Other than many students just seeing writing as some kind of a chore, those who are reluctant to write usually end up being the ones who did not have very good instruction in those foundation courses. I completely agree with Lidvall on the notion that students will be more receptive if they are introduced to writing in a way that showcases that it is real people writing for very real reasons. Authentic writing can be a myriad of things and does not have to stop with just the kind of academic writing taught in school. I wholeheartedly feel that if a theory like Dr. Zamora’s (writing as making and writing that can change the world and views/perspectives) is taught to students early on, they would have a very different idea about it and may be more open to writing. The goal is to just reframe the way that they think about it.