I have never felt more "technologically challenged" than I do right now, but I did it! I made a teaching blog, and I'm liking it so far! There are some little things I'd like to change, but I decided to stop messing with it for now because I'm worried I'll mess everything up and have to start over. (This may or may not have already happened.)
Anyway, my name is Sarah McMurrough. I'm going into my fifth year teaching fourth grade writing in Texas. Writing was always my strongest subject in school and one of my biggest passions, so I'm really lucky to have landed a job as a writing teacher. Whether it's from a training, a teacher down the hall, a new "pin" on Pinterest, or a memory of one of my beloved former teachers, I'm always looking for new ideas for my own classroom. Lately, I've been enjoying my summer! Although I really, really appreciate and need the long break, I admit I get a little bored/antsy when I'm not working. (My coworkers that know me well would tell you that was an understatement.) In fact, that's one of the reasons why I am starting this blog. Another reason is that one of my fabulous coworkers inspired me with her adorable blog: templesteachingtales.blogspot.com. I'd also like to open up a TpT store and share ideas that are specific to language arts teachers in grades 3-5. We have a tough and important job. Someone who really knew what they were talking about once told me...
"Teaching writing the right way is hard... really hard."
I thought, "What does she mean by the right way?" The funny thing is that I start to understand this more and more with each new school year. Teaching writing the right way goes far beyond a spelling pattern trick and a reminder to put periods at the end of your sentences. It goes beyond the longest descriptive word list and the latest mentor text. Teaching writing the right way means a never-ending combination of teaching those nitty-gritty grammar rules, the writing traits, the different types of writing, the writing process, and why caring about what you write is so important. It means that every time there's a new writing prompt, every student gets constructive, meaningful feedback by the teacher and/or a peer. (Otherwise, how can we expect them to improve?) It means going beyond modeling how "easy" writing can be to modeling the real problems you can run into as a writer. As overwhelming as it all sounds, I think that the most important lesson for kids to learn as writers is that their writing must sound like them, and it must come straight from the heart. Teaching writing the right way is hard, but we can do it! I'll do my best to keep this little writing philosophy of mine in mind with every new blog post I write!