The Unstoppable Writing Teacher: Real Strategies for the Real Classroom

M. Colleen Cruz

Professional Reading Response


Fear. We talked about fear a lot in my methods class this year. Reason I was holding back in my writing were fear of being judged on the content and quality of my work. I didn’t want other people to see me in a negative way. I was afraid of being honest in my writing. Lucy Calkins wrote the Foreword for Cruz’s book “The Unstoppable Writing Teacher.” Calkins says that fear is a part of teaching that we sometimes want to hide. It is okay to be fearful. Cruz said, “That ‘fear’ is not your deep dark secret; this is part of being a teacher.” Cruz teaches through this book strategies for teaching and new ideas.  “Writing is a struggle. If we want our students to become strong writers, then they have to become brave ones,” said Calkins. We have to model bravery for our students. The only way for us to become brave is to practice and get ourselves out there.

As teachers we need to realize that classrooms can be a scary and challenging place to be but we must be brave. We can be prepared by expecting and looking for trouble. Teaching is not an easy job contrary to popular belief. Cruz says teaching is a never ending cycle that includes learning, creating, teaching and revising. The more we learn the more we can create and the better we can teach. We can always teach better by revising and adding more to our teaching toolbox. There are lots of ways you can go about adding more information and knowledge to your teaching toolbox.

Cruz does a good job helping answer tough questions that teachers face. She is helping us prepare for the troubles we may face in our classroom such as: the student who is a better writer than us, the students that only write when we are right beside them, the student that is new to English, and other challenges. The chapters that really stuck out to me were about naming your monsters and easy ways to constantly become a better teacher of writing.