Writing for teachers is a web page devoted to the practice of writing for educational purposes. As a teacher, it is necessary to write for grants, publications, or specific projects like National Board Certification. Often writing skill can help or hinder the educator in the pursuit of obtaining a particular goal. This web page offers advice to teachers about the practice of writing, in hopes that the resources offered might help to optimize success for all teachers in their writing endeavors.


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wizzlewizzdoms:

Not to sound cliche, but "When in Rome.....". When you are writing, you need to address your "audience". If you are writing a grant or a portfolio for national board, the assessor is not going to be looking for general education "buzzwords" necessarily. They are going to be primarily interested and looking for their own lingo or the jargon of the organization they represent. For example, every grant application has a prospectus to describe the requirements and criteria for the grant or educational opportunity. It is important to really read and assimilate the tone and patterns of speech used in their documentation. For future reference, this is true for all the writing you do. Long ago while working as an arts administrator, I learned you win grants by speaking the language of the agency or foundation from which the funds will come. I would feverishly read the prospectus and take words and phrases from their own documentation. Then I would take that jargon and use it as a foundation. I would build my "case" around those words. It works just about every time.

Writers Block

1. Allow yourself time to diddle around. For example, tomorrow when you want to sit down and begin writing, set a timer for a specific amount of time. (Let's say 30 minutes) For the next thirty minutes do anything you want. Nap, eat, do dishes, whatever. When the timer goes off, sit down and WRITE. Write anything!

2. What IF? Look at the entry questions again. You said you can't think of anything more to say. Well, look at the questions and look up something in a book or the internet about the concepts surrounding the question. Use what you read to give you inspiration to write a few paragraphs more. I do this with my class work all the time. I will have to write an essay and not have a clue as to what to say next. I will look through the index of a book on the topic and flip to a section. I will read a few paragraphs and begin writing about what I just read. Ask yourself what if I looked at this a different way. What if this, what if that????

3. When you think of any new direction to go with a portion of an entry, jot down (quickly) a mini outline. Include the what, where, how, why, who stuff within the outline. That is five sentences right there!!

4. Whenever you have to leave the computer or stop writing for that session, end in the middle of the sentence. This way when you return, your thoughts will be able to pick up where you left off.

5. Make it a game. When you sit down to write tell yourself "I am going to write one page in 30 minutes." (Set the timer) or tell yourself "When I write three pages I am going to eat a bowl of ice cream!" Do anything to make things more fun.

6. You have to be creative, use your imagination, and FOCUS on the task at hand. Getting back to my point about insecurity. When things start to get frustrating, ask yourself what do you really want. You have the power to do whatever you want right now. You don't have to become NB certified. Do you want to be a NBCT? Of course you do! So take the bull by the horns and tell yourself that is what YOU WANT. (Sometimes I actually talk out loud to my black muse and argue with him. I tell him that I want to do this or accomplish that. He is not stronger than me.)

7. Get rid of the fear. If you have to, do a little ceremonial ritual to bury your fear. Yes, that is right, bury it. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, cast out your fear and catch it in your hands. Walk outside, dig a little hole, and bury it! Walk back into the house, sit at the computer, and write words, then more words, then edit those words, then rewrite those words. Then, be done.

I know this seem a little like hocus pocus, but it works.
You can do this (If you want it, it is yours.)


General Writing Links
Writers Block
Overcoming Writers Block


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Can't Get Started?
Use STATEMENT STARTERS:

Great Statement Starters from Claudia B.
"Upon reflection..."
"After observation…"
"This comment tells me that..."
"It is important for me to realize that..."
"This is significant because..."
"This activity prompted me to ...."
"Note that I now believe ..."
"These comments indicate ..."
"This could be more effective if ... "
"Continuing to reflect on ...."
"I focused on ... because ..."
"To promote (extend, refine, etc.) thinking ... "
"I now have greater awareness ..."
"I realized that ..."
"The impact of this artifact ..."
"The evidence of this collaboration was ..."
"The intent of my questions was ..."
"This helped me to refocus on ..."


WITNESS Testimonials
Advice from the TRENCHES!!!!
Here are words of advice from former candidates about their thoughts on writing for NB.
Writing Advice from former NBC Candidates!

BUT...What do they MEAN??????

Merriam-Webster - http://www.kplay.cc/reference.html
While writing for National Board Certification, you will notice the use of many buzz words over and over. You read them so often, they start to lose the meaning. Here are some definitions to remind you of true meanings:

in·ter·pre·ta·tion
1 : the act or the result of interpreting : EXPLANATION
2 : a particular adaptation or version of a work, method, or style
3 : a teaching technique that combines factual with stimulating
explanatory information

explanation:
1 : to make known b : to make plain or understandable
2 : to give the reason for or cause of

sum·ma·ry
1 : an abstract, abridgment, or compendium especially of a preceding discourse

reflection
1 : an instance of reflecting; especially : the return of light or sound waves from a surface
2 : the production of an image by or as if by a mirror
3 a : the action of bending or folding back b : a reflected part : FOLD
4 : something produced by reflecting : as a : an image given back by a reflecting surface b : an effect produced by an influence
5 : an often obscure or indirect criticism : REPROACH
6 : a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation
7 : consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose
8 obsolete : turning back : RETURN
9 a : a transformation of a figure in which each point is replaced by a point symmetric with respect to a line or plane b : a transformation that involves reflection in more than one axis of a rectangular coordinate system




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Here are some resources if you are writing for graduate school or other academic publications. The following are links to guide you with "SCHOLARLY" writing.
Writing for Publication
Writing Center
APAstyle.org
APA Writing Research Papers



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Here are some resources if you are writing grants for your classroom

School Grants
Grant Writing For Educators
Ed World Grant Center
Grant Writing Tips from FGCUC
Grantstar
Beginning Grant Writing
Writing Teaching Objectives


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CONTACT:
wizzlewolf@aol.com


“New Beginnings in the Classroom”
1999-2003
artwork: Copyright Sheree Rensel