Writers Need Mentors

Focus and craft lessons are necessary components of writing workshop. Writers need time to practice, to experiment, to take risks.

Providing writers with examples of craft, imitating that craft in front of students, creating craft with student writers as a group, and giving them the time to practice the craft themselves, all contribute to their willingness to attempt new strategies in their writing.

When we share our own writing with our students, we demonstrate that we are writers too—writers who struggle, writers who get stuck, writers who problem-solve. When we ask students to confer with us, we show that we are members of the writing community; we take part in the ongoing process of writing.

If writers are to show change; if they are to become better writers tomorrow than they are today, they need mentors. Mentors may be fellow writers in the classroom too. More on that tomorrow.

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7 thoughts on “Writers Need Mentors

  1. Of course, the key thing is to be a teacher of writers who also writes. Hopefully, mentor texts and mentor authors give students and teachers the support and gentle nudge they might need to try something new! Could not seem to follow the link from the SOL page. Do not know why…..

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  2. This is so true: Mentors may be fellow writers in the classroom too. I work to encourage both teachers and students to use their writing as mentor texts. Once, I read a high school student’s piece as a mentor text to my class (anonymously). He later shared that it was the most encouraging thing that had ever been done to him as a writer. That alone was worth it!

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