I love writing. I think it stems from a love of reading, supported by English teachers and Uni lecturers throughout my education. I’ve written books, short stories, magazine and online articles, and more blog posts than I can remember. 

I think most people who go into teaching English share a love for reading or writing, or both. 

And it’s because we love reading and writing, and because students deserve to express themselves in their own voice, that I can say confidently that no one goes into teaching English to kill Classics with comprehension questions or teach essay writing that sucks the life out of books just to meet assessment requirements. 

And yet that’s what we end up doing. I’ve done it. If you’re an English teacher reading this you’ve probably done it too. It’s a fault of a system that takes a subject like English – an Arts subject – and tries to standardise the output. It serves an outdated education model, and it certainly doesn’t serve the students. 

The good news is teachers are pushing back. We know that formulaic writing limits expression. We know that putting these limits on an art form like writing can be damaging – driving down self expression and creating anxiety over something which should be a joy. 

So I’m asking for your feedback. I want to know what gets in the way of teaching writing. Confidence? The system? Resources?

If you agree that young people deserve to express themselves through writing, and you think it’s our job to teach them how, then please join the conversation.

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