If You Find Yourself with Time on Your Hands-WRITE! - National Council of Teachers of English
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If You Find Yourself with Time on Your Hands—WRITE!


The NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing note,

Writing grows out of many different purposes [including] developing social networks; engaging in civic discourse; supporting personal and spiritual growth; reflecting on experience; communicating professionally and academically; building relationships with others, including friends, family, and like-minded individuals; and engaging in aesthetic experiences.

In a 1982 English Journal article, Robert C. Wess cited the Bee Gee’s and noted, “Teachers should be required to write for publication,” suggesting that secondary teachers write one article per semester as their way of “Stayin’Alive.”

Anne Figuhr, on the other hand countered that “for today’s high school English teachers… We are ‘Stayin’ Alive.’ We are not dead because we are not writing and publishing.”

Wess’ and Figuhr’s arguments started a firestorm of letters to English Journal–many more than could be printed, and I suspect their arguments go on today.

I’ll reveal my proclivity by saying that if you find yourself with a little time on your hands during the holiday break and you lean toward Wess’ belief, there are at least 23 NCTE affiliate journals waiting for your submissions of articles on classroom practice and research, book reviews and teaching ideas, and teacher creative prose and poetry.