Atwell’s Afterword

It seems that Nancie Atwell summed up the most important lesson I learned in my classes this semester:  as teachers we must provide a model of student learning, one that allows for an apprenticeship between student and teacher.  I wrote and presented on this idea for Kennedy’s class and most of you heard me speak about this.  I believe that Atwell is right in saying that one of the most important strategies for teachers to use is to show them examples of our own writing process.  Of course, creating a model that students will want to apprentice themselves to is of significance.  Atwell states, and I agree, that “we must read, write, and teach our literate experiences and literary passions (313).”  Students want to feel like the work they are doing is significant now and we, as teachers, want our lessons to be significant to them now not ten years down the road (although leaving a lasting impression is always satisfying!)  So the questions that we need to ask ourselves now and always as teachers should always include:  “Who are our students?  What do they care about?  What will they respond to (314)?” These questions seem to reappear in both of our studies on literacy and teaching writing.



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