Comments Are Welcome

Yesterday my poem about #Harry got 11 comments!  Each time I saw a comment pop up, I was rejuvenated with genuine excitement that someone took a pause out of their busy day to read and respond.  Read and respond to me…wow!  It gave me an opportunity to reflect on some wise words from one of my professional mentors, Regie Routman.

Recently at a local conference, I was privileged to take part in a small group conversation with Regie.  We discussed what was currently on our minds in the world of literacy and we got on the topic of kids who just don’t like to write.  Regie challenged us to make sure that ALL kids have a sense of who they are writing for–an audience.  Not just “you are writing this for me or for your peers” but a real authentic audience.  When kids know who they are writing for they have a sense of purpose and that motivates them to write, write and write some more.

Would our writers be more motivated and excited if they got comments and reactions to their writing? Could we make that a non-negotiable in our writing workshops? Shouldn’t they feel the love and excitement of receiving comments as often as possible?  What would that look like?  Don’t we owe that to them?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Comments are welcome.


7 thoughts on “Comments Are Welcome

  1. The significance of audience should never be underrated. Right from the beginning we should assist them to develop an awareness of audience. ‘Who are your readers and what do they need from you? Writing to an audience beyond the immediate confines of the classroom helps to broaden the writer’s vision. With regard to comments I feel it is critical to provide feedback for effort. Writing always presents challenges and the young writer needs to know that others appreciate their often hesitant efforts. A thought provoking post Keith. Thank you for an important provocation.


  2. Chris Lehman was talking about students doing informational writing, they should begin their research with the idea who would want to know more about this topic and to write with that person in mind. I think writing for an audience makes you think more about putting voice in and making the writing enjoyable. How lucky that you were able to sit down with Regie Routman. She is one of my rock stars of literacy, but I’ve never had the opportunity to hear her speak. Color me jealous!


  3. I find that my students are much more motivated if they have an audience, but the engagement goes through the roof if the audience is authentic and meaningful! I know savor those emails that I get letting me know someone has read my writing. Your voice shines through!


  4. That’s why I love this community of teacher/writers. The feedback is always energizing, helpful, and affirming. I, too, am jealous of your time with Regie. What a great teacher she is!


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