Calling Male Writers

I recently read a journal article that encouraged teachers to design writing assignments that would encourage students to write.  This particular article focused on supporting male writers.

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My mind immediately began to race back in time to my days of youth.  Why do I enjoy writing?  What were some things that I could remember that motivated me to write?  Just the other day, I responded to a question about things that I greatly enjoy.  To quote Popeye – “Well Shiver me timbers” – before I knew it, I had answered: WRITING.

Really!  Whatever made me do that?

While I must admit that writing is hard work, it is also a rewarding and profitable undertaking.  I would be less than truthful if I told you that I have always enjoyed every writing assignment that I have been given, but I must tell you that this male likes writing.

I have learned in recent years that a lack of writers (writing) is a real challenge to our Christian school movement.  We do not have nearly enough people in our movement that are committed to writing.  We must develop more writers!

Below are some suggestions that might help you as a teacher develop male writers —

  • Design assignments that capture boys’ interests.  While not all writing will be an open choice, boys enjoy writing humor, short novels, letters to the editor,  short stories, etc.
  • Model writing for students.  Let students read your writing.  When was the last time you wrote for a professional journal?  What about a blogpost?  Maybe it was a letter to the editor or some other writing design.
  • Give assignments that allow boys to tell stories and describe male activities, like playing a sport, participating in music, or some other assignment.
  • Find ways to have students “write across the curriculum.”  If the only time a boy is asked to write is English class, he will likely learn to dislike the subject rather than embrace writing.  Most boys like either science or history or both.  Help these teachers take advantage of their love for the subject to develop writing skills.  Writing can be developed in every class including math.
  • Encourage students to “publish” their writing.  Upper level students may want to publish their articles on Facebook, perhaps they will even send a letter to the editor.  Set up a blog for these male and female writers.  For younger students, display work or allow time in the “Teachers Chair” and read to the class.
  • Make it COOL to write at your school.  Even while in elementary school, positive reinforcement for male writers will work wonders.  Brag on the male writer.  Show him extra attention because he writes.

So, if you want to increase the number of male writers in your school, develop a plan.  If you aim at nothing, you will surely be successful.  Rather, develop a plan, and then work the plan.

So, what is your plan?  

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Edward is the founder and managing editor of Focus on Christian Education. He also serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.

Please note: we reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jeff Peterson

    Great ideas about making writing interesting to boys. Bible students at VBA this year have to write articles for our class blog every couple of weeks. Many of them are surprisingly excited about it.

  • Kevin Suiter

    What about leaders in Christian education who simply feel a need to write a chapter for an upcoming book? Would this also be an application that we should take away from this well-written blog-post? I think there are published Christian authors out there who are looking for contributors who have something important to say. Contact me in person if you have an interest in contributing to an upcoming book for Christian school principals.

    Kevin Suiter
    Colonial Christian School
    pksuiter@colonialindy.org
    317-253-0649