When you think of editing, you probably don’t necessarily think of empowerment. Equally true, you probably unquestionably don’t think about excitement. Despite the fact that editing is such an integral part of teaching writers, some of us shy away from it sometimes. It’s not like you must hate editing to get that feeling either. The process can invoke many different feelings depending on your relationship to the student, the assignment’s complexity, even how many essays you’ve graded that day.
As writing coaches and educators, we’re here to tell you that these emotions are perfectly natural. Whether you’re an English teacher or a parent lending a helping hand, your edits are an act of communication in and of themselves, one full of contexts, experiences, and approaches.
Once you’re able to recognize the emotions behind any one act of editing, you can better understand them and shift them to do good work. For example, you might need to change your editing approach for students who take edits more personally. It’s not that you should stop providing constructive edits, but simply that you can adopt a different sort of language.
Instead of more straightforward edits, you can offer a set of new paths for an idea. Or maybe if a word is misspelled, you can ask them to check on it for you. This change in our editing habits opens up the conversation, letting our writing students plunge into ideas that interest them and find answers to their grammar questions. It also has the benefit of making them more comfortable with editing, and over time, accept it as the positive act of communication that it is.
Writing with Design is all about helping teachers empower and excite your young writers. Ready to give it a try? Give us a shout!