Teachers must write often in their profession. Writers can often find their way into teaching roles. But to be a teacher-writer is something altogether different. You are simultaneously the actor and director in a production that requires both full participation and coordination of others when it comes to the act of writing. Teacher-writers must serve as muse and poet alike, finding ways to encourage students to write by writing alongside them.
Being able to recognize where the line blurs between mentor and conspirator with others in the writing process takes practice, dedication, and a willingness to make yourself and your writing vulnerable to others. Teacher-writers must be prepared to go beyond modeling what good writing looks like, but model the process completely, and join students in a shared exploration of the written word.
Troy Hicks, Associate Professor of English at Central Michigan University, and Janet Neyer, English Teacher in Cadillac, were gracious enough to lead us through a conversation about what it means to be a teacher-writer, and how to start your own journey to writing alongside your students.
If you have trouble viewing the archive of the chat, you can view the entire Storify archive here.