This started as an email to someone, and just thought I’d share it with you.
Anytime you want to meet and go over the nuts and bolts of a blogging let me know…and by-the-way…
Your statement “I am not a good writer…it bugs me
The first time I wrote something that was not for school it was for my blog…so I went 40 years without ever writing something for me. It was because “I was not a good writer.” School told me that, not me, and I believed it. School taught me that nobody cared about my thoughts, what mattered is whether I had a capital letter to start off each sentence, if I had commas in the right spot, it taught me that I screwed up because I used a : instead of a ; and I should never, ever…you know…use things like these –> … just because, well…cuz I like how they look.
School taught me that I needed organized paragraphs of five sentences each, and I should never start a new paragraph until I have included at least 3-5 details supporting my topic sentence in the previous one.
Worst of all…I mean worst of all…how could you even start without pre-planning! Ahhhh…your writing will be so disorganized and how could you start writing if you don’t know where you you will end! Your essay will be chaos. Even double worst of all is not only will your essay be in chaos, but your grade will suffer!
“That’s not how they do it in the real world Paul.” Sorry for the flashback.
I don’t ever remember being taught how to write by someone who wrote for the “real world.” Come to think about it I don’t think I have ever been taught by, or have even known a teacher (face-to-face) that writes for the real world. How could any of the advice that I have been given be possibly considered credible?
How could a teacher be considered a credible source of information if they don’t practice the subject they preach? History teachers…when was the last time they acted like a historian and did some original research. Science teachers preaching about doing labs…what are they experimenting with right now? Writing teachers…what have they written in the last year? Math teachers…ummm math teachers…fine, I have no idea what a math teacher would do besides teach and I sat through 14 years of math classes, how could I not know that?
The blogging process for many teachers is the slow unraveling of what you were taught in school was wrong. Teachers were good little students, they did what they were told, did well at following the rules, and then grew up to become teachers and instill those rules into their classroom so that they will in turn produce good little students–doing the same damn thing that some teacher did to them to their students. Blogging for many teachers is not just a re-birth in learning how to love to write again, but it is admitting that you are wrong. The rules that you teach by are wrong.
Remember the damage that your teachers have done will not be undone by just starting a blog. Almost 40 years of feeling like “not being a good writer” will not disappear even in your first year of blogging. But it is that first year that will be most valuable to you. You will learn again what it is like to be a first year teacher struggling, you will learn again what it is like to be a struggling student who feels like everything they do is a failure, but most important, you will feel like everything you do sucks. That will allow you to re-connect with every troubled kid who sits down to talk to you, and every staff member who feels like they have lost control and simply does not know how to dig themselves out of a situation in which they feel is hopeless. That feeling of inadequacy, and persevering through it has changed my every interaction with students.
You are wrong that “You are not a good writer.” You just don’t know it yet because you are still echoing the rules that were put in place way back when by your elementary school teachers.
By the way…I wrote this email here:
I stood up the entire time, I put my foot up on the stool top, it’s not for sitting. And yes, I did just clean my desk. So much for those teachers telling me I had to clean my desk and sit down. I also spent the entire post listening to music, the kind that I was told would be so detrimental to my thinking process, the song that is on right now is this:
If you are reading this it is not because I listened to what I was taught…it was because I ignored it.
What do you have to got say about that teachers?