Thinking about prior experiences with teaching writing and reflecting on graduate school principals, what "feels comfortable" for me to teach is not always best practice.
My writing practices as a student and the writing practices I have seen used through subbing, student teaching, etc, model a writing process with only one direction: forward. The time spent on writing is usually limited, and students find themselves needing more time to finish work. This is normally the most comfortable practice because I often find I need to fit so much into the school day, writing cannot take as much time as the students need. Viewing the writing process as a one-way-road is a more familiar practice for me simply because it is how I was taught, although I know this process is not beneficial for students and not one I want in my own classroom. Allowing students free range throughout the writing process and encouraging them to plan, draft, and revise continually adds complications to the classroom and is not always comfortable for the teacher. Rereading this paragraph, I understand it sounds extremely negative, and that was not the intended view. I have learning through prior experiences that when teaching, easy concepts and comfortable teachings do not always bring about best practices. It often takes me stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things with my students I may not be 100% confident with that leads to them expanding their learning and using higher level thinking skills...
As a graduate level college student, I have had the opportunity to become familiar with a variety of technologies that aid in the writing process. Word processing programs are used on a daily basis in my classroom, whether it is to write a letter to parents or create a graph/chart to track student work. Programs such as Microsoft Publisher and Excel have allowed teachers to easily create documents to be used in the classroom that look innovative and professional. Online writing spaces allow students of all ages to learn, explore, and publish text that otherwise would not be a part of the learning process. I have had many courses at Nazareth that use Wiki's or other means of communication between other course members as well as the professor. These online 'forum' type websites allowed us to communicate fast, easy, and share new findings and knowledge with eachother. They also allowed a 100% online course to take place where I was able to perform assignments, communicate with my professor, and share ideas and notes with peers. These new literacies have given me the opportunity to learn at my own speed, using my own techniques to obtain information.
... TO BE CONTINUED