Journal Writing ~ Day by Day

Writing  . . . who loves writing? 

Well . . . many do; however, I would gander a guess that many more do not. 

Where do you fall on this spectrum?

Journal Writing ~ My Struggles

I remember my experiences writing in school.  I often did not know where to start discussion on a topic, AND I was not confident in my skills. Can you relate? When I did write, I would try to use words that I did not typically use. I’d write words that I thought I needed to write in order to get an “A” on an assignment. Unfortunately, all I received was a paper bleeding with red ink.

I couldn’t figure out “how” to write, “how” to please the reader, “how” to communicate my thoughts effectively. I was a horrible writer, and I just did not like writing. Period.

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Journal Writing ~ My Story

During my undergrad education, I had a professor who helped me get past my “hatred” for writing. My English professor told me, “Write the words just how you’d talk to someone”.  Is that it?  Nothing more?  This writing tip actually revealed a huge boulder that I had to remove in order for me to write.  This was probably the BEST tip I ever received about writing, and now one I offer to my students.

My English professor told me,
“Write the words just how you’d talk to someone”. 

Early in my professional career, I found that most of my students also struggled with writing.  They did not see themselves as a “writer” and struggled with figuring out what to write about when I did not give them a topic. However, even with a topic, many did not connect with writing. I knew exactly how they felt and where they were in their writing progression. I was once there, too.

I knew I had some training about teaching writing, but I wasn’t sure how to help my students develop their own writing skills. Can you relate? When my students couldn’t connect, didn’t know how to begin, and couldn’t find the words to communicate their thoughts, how was I suppose to help them?  I knew how they felt.  I was once them. Were you once the same writer?

Journal Writing ~ Success Found

As an educator, I knew my writing had improved. It wasn’t scary anymore, the paper quit nagging at me, my pencil began talking, and I began practicing writing. During my National Board Certification process, my mentor commented on how well I wrote. I finally felt that I was a good writer. What caused my transformation?

  • 1. Practice
  • 2. Others telling me I was a writer
  • 3. Belief in myself

This success prompted me to learn more about writing instruction and discover strategies that I could use to support my reluctant writers. Over the years, I participated in A LOT of writing professional development and my own writing . . . yes, even journaling. As a result, I love writing! I also love mentoring teachers by engaging them in reflection about their own experiences, asking questions, helping them discover the key to effective writing instruction, and providing digital courses and resources to support their own instructional toolbox developing writers.

Get your students writing with my “Journal Writing ~ Day by Day” series of fun facts. 

In my time learning and working with students, I soon discovered multiple strategies to support developing writers. I learned there is a “story seed” in every single student that just needs to be watered.  It was my job to water and help cultivate this story. Once the student figures out where the story is, watch out . . . an author begins to blossom!!

Here are a few of my favorite books!

Journal Writing ~ Solutions

How do you view yourself as a writer?  Do you experience the same challenges your students face?  Do you enjoy writing or would you rather bury the idea and toss it out to sea?  

Well, my friends, I am excited to launch my September Professional Content Series focusing on writing!  Yes, that’s right!!  We are going to face this struggle together and overcome any challenges that we have, so we can better support our students.

We will dig into the reasons why students struggle with writing, learn strategies to overcome writer’s block, model lessons that you can implement right away into your teaching context, and get excited to teach writing because we are great writers!

Journal Writing: Related Resources

Below are some additional resources to support you along your journey focusing on writing instruction.

Top Strategies to Teach Writing and Overcome Writer’s Block

How to Teach Children’s Literature

How to Teach Imagery with Picture Writing

Journal Writing: Final Thoughts

Writing is not the easiest subject to teach. Helping students overcome the mindset challenges they face is the first step to developing writers. Are you ready to amp up your writing instruction? Join me in my online community, Engage, Educate, Excel as we launch September with a Professional Content Series focusing on writing. In this group, we will engage in discussion about overcoming writer’s block and how we can support our students in becoming better writers. 

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Annette Durbin

Annette has been an educator for 29 years working in the PK-6 elementary classroom, English learner instructional specialist, district leadership, university professor, as well as a mentor for teachers nationwide. A National Board Certificated Teacher, Annette focuses her research on accelerating learning and advancing achievement, personalizing instruction, technology, and leadership in the education field.

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