Dear Students and Parents…

Dear Students,

I am so excited about the school year we are about to have! My name is Timmi Keisel, and I graduated from Chadron State College with a degree in English Language Arts. I grew up in the very small town of Fleming, Colorado and graduated with only seventeen other people. I was a bookworm in high school, but the hobby especially began taking a toll on my social life in college. I originally chose to pursue English teaching because of my lasting passion for reading. What I didn’t learn until I was well in to college was how awesome writing is!

Writing has different implications for everyone. To some, it is an activity they have to do for class. For others, it can be completely horrifying. When I was in high school, it was something I was told I was good at but didn’t necessarily enjoy. I wrote countless essays without finding enjoyment or purpose. That is not what we will be doing in this class. My goal is not to create master essay-writers but actual writers. In too many classrooms, writing is only presented as necessary skill to be done only for a purpose. Writing shouldn’t be taught as a mathematical equation but as a form of expression.

This will take many forms in the classroom. You will be encouraged to free write every day without many guidelines. You can write about what you are reading, explore your creativity, write about what is going on in your life, etc. I will make sure you have many entries, but I won’t read them if that’s what you prefer. After completing larger writing tasks, you will workshop with each other, thoroughly reading classmates’ writing and sharing ideas and feedback. I will also workshop with you on your writing as well. In doing so, I hope to create an environment where turning in a piece of writing isn’t scary but a learning experience. Rather than marking up papers, I will have discussions with you about your writing.

A key tool to improving your writing is to read… a lot. That being said, you don’t have to read textbooks or essays that actually discuss how to write; you can read just about anything! In doing so, you will learn which genres you like, and you will learn about style. As you read, I don’t want you to observe the story as an outsider but as a participant. While enjoying the story, also think about it in the mindset of a writer (what you like, what you would do differently, etc.). There will be aspects of this class that won’t be as fun but are necessary to follow state standards. While this is unavoidable, I hope we can focus more on the fun aspects of writing!

I hope to transform writing from something some of you may dread into something you will take with you beyond the classroom. My goal is not only to get you from Point A to Point B but to have fun in the middle! Let’s have a great, writing-filled year!

Sincerely,

Ms. Keisel

 

Principles of Teaching and Learning Writing

  1. To be a writer, you must be a reader.
  2. I will always respect you and I expect the same in return.
  3. To be a writer, you must write A LOT.
  4. Everyone’s opinions are important.
  5. Your voices will be heard.
  6. None of you are bad writers!
  7. Having fun helps learning!
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