I absolutely love teaching writing. It's my passion. It's my calling. I am a writing evangelist, convincing parents and teachers to see writing like I do - as the best tool for making sense of life. It's my dream that everyone becomes a lifelong writer.
But, what about the teachers who hate teaching writing? What about those amazing teachers who changes lives in countless ways, but quietly think, "Lorrie, you're a writer. I can't do what you're doing. And I certainly don't have time."
Telling an overworked and over-stressed teacher with limited time to attend yet another conference or read yet another thick book about Writing Workshop and using mentor texts and conferring and writer's craft and...and...and...is overwhelming. It's like telling a brand new jogger, "Put on these new shoes. Then, let's run a marathon tomorrow! You'll be fine. You can do it. Just follow me. It's easy"
Nope. I've tried.It doesn't work. Even with best intentions and endless encouragement, it's not sustainable.
Writing Workshop (from the brilliant minds of my beloved mentors - Donald Graves, Nanci Atwell, Lucy Calkins, Katie Wood Ray, Ralph Fletcher, Linda Rief, Georgia Heard, Shelley Harwayne, and Carl Anderson) - is the best approach I've ever used in a writing classroom.
It is also the hardest.
There were years when I just threw up my hands and said, "We're taking a Writing Workshop break." Ah, the familiar comfort of a good ole simile worksheet! And that's coming from someone who is a writer, from someone who lives for teaching writing!
Ultimately, I DO want everyone to do Writing Workshop. That's my end game. I want to get you there, but let's get real. Running a marathon on the first day of a new jogging regimen is not a good idea.
We need to walk a mile together first. Then, someday, we can run!
And here's how we're going to do it. Every month, I'm going take the best elements of writing workshop, add a bit of Lorrie Tom spice, and offer you monthly writing recipes that are doable, manageable, and fun - kinda like a tasty Top Chef amuse bouche that won't ruin your appetite for a bigger meal in the future.
And know this, if all you ever do are the writing recipes I offer on this site (Hey, we’ve all made a satisfying and cheaper main course meal by ordering off the appetizer menu!) -- please know that it will be enough. And maybe even better because you'll actually keep using these recipes year in and year out.
My recipes are sure to please every palette and they come with all the bite-sized trimmings:
- response guides,
- art projects,
- curriculum extensions,
- notes about writer's craft,
- mentor text guides,
- tips for conferring,
- suggestions for revision and editing,
- and saucy Lorrie Tom commentary!
So cheers to a new chapter in the story of your writing life. I hope you'll join me as we whip up writing love - one recipe at a time.
PS -- Keep scrolling if you'd like to read 10 Very Short Very True Lorrie Stories and 10 of my Very True Very Impressive Teacher Street Cred Stats.
PSS -- But the most important thing is to see if we are reading kindred spirits!