We had a fascinating speaker at the writing project yesterday. Erick Gordon of the Student Press Initiative spoke to us of the power of publishing and audience for student writers. Most of it was old news (the idea of publishing being motivating has been around awhile), but Erick was an engaging speaker and the most important part was not necessarily that publishing would be motivating.
It’s amazing to think of the far-reaching effects that publishing student writing can have. Not only do we give our students something, but we also give something to the world. And isn’t that one of the goals of all teachers? And isn’t touching the world something we want to teach our students to strive for?
When students begin thinking of audience (or at least of an audience beyond their teachers and best friends) the power of the writing expands to encompass the world. Teachers struggle to make their students connect to the outside world and feel as if their work matters–publishing could do both.