Many say that the mini-lesson is the heart of writer’s workshop. I’ve always felt that reflection is equally important, though. Perhaps more so. Coaching writers to reflect is tough stuff, but I find that when I prompt writers well and provide them the time to do so, they discover very important things about themselves, their needs, and how we can work together to meet them. They also identify their strengths, and this helps me position them as teachers and mentors….consistently.
These are the most important assessments I conduct as a writing teacher.
Reflection is also the most important tool in my teaching toolkit. Although I often use this site to share products and tools with teachers who might be interested in using them, I try to assume a reflective stance here often. You’ll find examples of this sort of blogging here and here . Without the opportunity to reflect in this space and with colleagues on the ground and online, I know that I wouldn’t be the teacher that I am.
Writing in a notebook was a great first step for me, many years ago. I still keep one with me every day. Somehow, writing online makes my learning feel more real, though. It also connects me with others who are doing the same work and trying to resolve the same dilemmas.
Interested in building the habit of reflection into your writer’s workshop? Feel free to use the document below. You may link to it here as well.
Interested in building the habit of reflection into your own practice? Consider using this book by Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres. There are copies in our lending library at the WNY Young Writer’s Studio, and I’m happy to share. Local teacher friends: if you would like to borrow this book and you won’t be in to visit, please let me know, and I will bring it into your school.