I doubt the memory will ever leave me. It happened on a sunny Monday in late September during my first year of teaching. On my desk sat a four inch stack of slightly crumpled computer paper–the first student essays of the year–covered in blue ink and ready to go back to the students. Over the previous two weeks those essays had been nearly constant companions of mine as I did what I supposed good English teachers were supposed to do: I stayed up late extensively correcting and commenting in the margins and finished each paper with a personalized note to the student next to their grade.
As I readied to turned them back, I beamed with pride. Commenting through the stack had taken me well over 30 hours, but I knew it was worth it. My responses were thoughtful, thorough, personal, and would undoubtedly connect with the students in a deeper way than the general nature of class allowed. Continue reading “Why a Writing Instruction Blog?”