How hard is it to learn to write?

Really hard!

Of course it is!

And how much harder is it – trying to do it in a group setting? How AMAZING does the teacher/school/principal have to be to create a climate in which a bunch of adolescents students willingly sit down and think and write?

But there are so many amazing teachers out there

I met with one a few weeks ago, showing her a draft of our essay writing book – and she had no idea how wonderful she was. As she was talking about essay writing, I had to keep saying, “Stop. Stop. I have to write down what you are saying. I have to get that down for my book.” For example…



But so many students don’t realise how wonderful the person is standing in front of them and what they can do to help them.

I do! I know how hard it is! That’s why I don’t teach full time!

After working as a journalist and writer for decades, and with a Masters in Creative Writing, I was really shocked when I did my English teaching degree seven years ago, how much teachers had to know to teach writing. It also made me realise how much I didn’t know about language and rhetoric in particular. Interestingly, I have learned so much about writing from the study of English.

The complexity and depth of what English teachers have to know in fact, motivated me to start writing my books – I wanted to put many of the things that teachers are supposed to teach their students –  in the one place – at least in part to make their lives easier – so they can focus more on the hard work of teaching students how to write.

A text to support brilliant teachers

Here are some pages from our most recent book: Essay Writing – it has killed me putting it together – but I’m so happy with it – pulling together so many different things from literary theory to representation analysis – in ONE PLACE!

So I take my hat off to all the teachers out there – doing magnificent jobs, teaching young people all over Australia to learn to express themselves. Particularly in areas of the greatest social disadvantage – as the article below shows – you are punching above your weight!

If you read the article below – one can only think of Doris Lessing’s speech – On not accepting the Nobel prize…

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