Writing and the Imagination

This week I’m taking Harford County Public School’s Methods of Teaching Reading course for professional development.  For most, this mandatory course is a drag and, undeniably, the 40-hour course does rob a teacher of much deserved personal time in the summer.  But given the motivation to learn, I would argue this course is actually turning out to be quite worthwhile.

For my teacher friends in particular, here are two particularly insightful quotes from an article we read.  From Stimulating reluctant writers by Ian Thompson:

(1) “…the process of composition begins as a social and cultural activity….The child’s mastering of writing is integral to the movement from interpersonal social interaction to the intrapersonal development of abstract thought.  This development takes place initially through play (imagination) and finally through the conscious thought required for writing….A child’s greatest achievements are possible in play, achievements that will tomorrow become his basic level of real action and morality.”

In plainspeak: Social interaction and play –> development of higher level thinking –> writing

Teachers need to recognize that imaginative exercises are the first step in the developmental process that gets a student to start writing.  What an incredible power there is to be found in childish recreational and the creative activity of man!  

(2) I made a quote poster of this one.  I’m sure everyone can relate.

Not the most comforting words but certainly true.  Be encouraged!  If we are willing to work hard and persevere, it is through our failures and frustrations that we grow.