Third Annual National Day of Writing

HES turns 50

I found out that today is the Third Annual National Day of Writing. I didn’t know that until this evening though or I might have made something of it during school today. Writing, or the teaching of writing, entrigues me.

I can’t really remember learning how to write and I have never considered myself a good writer but on several occasions other adults have told me I was; usually when I was writing about something where I felt a lot of passion. A school redistricting experience comes to mind 🙂 Yikes! Not sure what that says about me?

When I was in high school we mainly did creative writing. I was in the generation where teachers had relaxed about grammar and that is sometimes a big weakness I see in my writing, along with spelling (so I am thankful for the invention of spellcheck)! I have never diagrammed a sentence or really studied any spelling or grammar rules. It probably shows!

Blogging certainly is writing but it is also visual with photographs. Especially, if I want the blog to be built around travel. After all, what is a trip without pictures?

This week the elementary school where I work took a picture to celebrate 50 years. I suppose that even this is a form of writing, just using human bodies instead of paper and pencil. I wish kids today saw more value in writing. Too often they want to give the very minimal of effort and just jot down a few words for an answer instead of a complete sentence. Now that, I do remember: Homework where you had to answer in a complete sentence! I always thought that was easy.

For over ten years now, I have worked with a group of students and adults interested in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and I have learned so much about how important it is that the USA improve the educational system to promote these fields through instruction and awareness. Still, professionals in these fields often tell me that their new recruits are weak writers and that they need to be stronger. So much emphasis at school has been on bubbling in a test answer or, if they have been writing, they have been all consummed with the 5 paragraph essay that I sometimes wonder if writing is a dying art for new students. Add to that the minimal text characters and abbreviations we use to communicate in this fast paced world and I ponder where to take my students next when learning writing.

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