Saint Mary's University Writing Centre

Halifax, NS

Counterstories from the writing classroom: Resistance, resilience, refuge

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Teachers, Profs, Parents: Writers Who Care

by Deb Kelt & Amber Warrington

In a statement that has nearly gone viral in the teaching community, Nancie Atwell urged new teachers to choose the private sector over public schools. Though Nancie’s statement received much press, her words don’t stand alone. Often we hear from teachers leaving their beloved classrooms, stating they “just don’t know what to do about” the many problems they see. These stories crop up all the time on our news feeds — stories about testing, standards, mandates, burn out, frustration, hopelessness.

Instead of telling stories that offer few solutions, stories that seem finite, stories that offer endings rather than beginnings, we urge writing teachers to consider and embrace counterstories of their work —  to find hope and possibility in the nuanced work we do with both student writers and colleagues in public schools.

We look back on our writing classrooms, and we remember moments of…

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