21/07/2015 - News
Edutopia. Originally Published: June 10, 2014 | Updated: July 14, 2015
I strive to teach my high school students the value of criticism, especially when it comes to improving their writing.
To do so, I model how criticism continues to help me become a better writer. Earlier this year, for example, I shared a draft of one of my education feature articles, which included detailed feedback from an editor at a prominent media company. I asked my classes for advice on how to address several edits, dealing with sources, transitions, terminology, and structure. A few days later, I directed my budding writers to the much-improved final draft. This easy but worthwhile activity helped more of my students feel comfortable receiving criticism, and not view it as an affront. As a result, they improved their writing by taking the time and care to consider and respond to reader insight.
I want my students to feel secure in the knowledge that nobody is beyond criticism (even their teacher), and that the bigger challenge is developing the good sense to acknowledge and successfully respond to feedback.
Along those lines, I also offer the suggestions below about teaching writing: