Teaching Writing Self-Assessment


I did some assessment of my ability to teach writing, and of my own writing ability. I hope you can use it to see some areas of improvement for your own teaching and writing.

My writing teaching practices

I do well assigning writing for a specific reader and a meaningful purpose. For example, assigning students to write for a specific family member whom they appreciate for something that they have never expressed appreciation for.

One could argue that my writing assignments are too personal, but I don’t care because the trade-off is they are personally involved and emotionally invested in the topics. This is the positive side of working for a school that really doesn’t care about much except money…I’m left to my own devices.

I do an excellent job of presenting writing ideas clearly. I could improve at teaching them to write with a logical, well-organized flow. I demonstrate the outline process on the board, but many don’t follow it and I don’t do a good enough job of following through to make sure they have done it.

I have a long way to go to teach the students how better to elaborate on their ideas, creating descriptions that evoke mood, time and place, and develop characters.

I am good at encouraging them to play with language, experimenting with literary language, rhymes, sentences and schemes.

I need more work on teaching students to compose satisfying endings. This important aspect of a piece must be stressed more than I’m currently doing in order to bring closure to the piece.

I do a good job of crafting authentic voice. Students feel safe and free to express themselves freely in my classes and with their writing assignments.

I do a good job of getting students to reread, rethink and revise. In fact, I usually grade their writing, then hand it back to write it again. Usually this happens 3 times before they have a piece everyone is proud of.

My current writing practices

I do a pretty good job of writing with a particular audience in mind. That said, I do not have a particular “tribe” to whom I write on a regular basis. I have been ignoring my tribe of over 16,000 English language learners on my Facebook page because I’m a bit burned out at the moment.

I write my ideas clearly, with a logical and well-organized flow. I’ve noticed I’ve started making a few silly grammar errors lately, which I can only attribute to the fact I haven’t worked in three months and I’m getting rusty.

I absolutely love to play with words, experiment with literary language, rhythm to create lively writing.

The first sentence is the most critical, and I try to keep that in mind in my writing. Of course, I could do better at this and I work on it every day.

I always reread, rethink and revise while composing. I’ve found that the less I write the better, but in order to penetrate with my ideas I have to first write out what I’m thinking long-hand, and then whittle my thoughts down, eliminating any extra verbiage.

I’ve never really had a problem with conventions and form, punctuation or grammar, because I was raised by a tenacious English major.

#teachingwriting #English #LearnEnglish

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