Writing is typically complex, messy, and unpredictable, even under favorable circumstances. We start with a blank page or screen and feel overwhelmed. A writer's mission is to decide what to put in those empty spaces.
It's scary for many and requires courage, resilience, and a risk-taking spirit. Then add in the social and emotional issues in these uncertain times when many of us—students, teachers, and families feel uneasy, lonely, and isolated.
Young writers will often feel reluctant to fully engage and genuinely practice their writing without an emotional safety net of ongoing guidance, support, and reassurance.
The design below is the Celtic Triskelion - meaning revolves around strength and progress and the ability to move forward and overcome adversity
Regardless of age, the writers we support need to know we're confident they're capable of written expression. We encourage each writer to bravely publish their work supported by expert and meaningful demonstrations of shared and guided experiences and independent opportunities to "try and apply." Cultivating a creative spirit is vital for young writers to take their first tentative steps with the written word.
Ideally, when conferring, have the student read her writing aloud or the portion on which she wants feedback. On this first reading, disregard a paper that may be messy or contain apparent grammar and spelling issues. Think, focus, and listen: What is the writer trying to say; how can I best support those efforts? Seek to gently guide. Adopt a facilitator stance; encourage the writer to take the lead in the conversation. Become a discerning listener. Listen for the writer's voice.
Solution: Write Short Stories
It's easier for the writer and the teacher to work on completing a piece—revising, editing, and publishing—if the piece is just a page or so. Poetry, book reviews, commercials, memoir snippets, news summaries, and rap and song lyrics can work well for young, aspiring writers.