WiR, What People are Saying

What Teachers Are Saying About the Writers-in-Residence Program

"These young people learned new skills. They were also able to transfer these newfound skills from writing poetry--the lovely sensory images, rich settings, and detailed characters--to their essays. They learned to appreciate the process of revision, making their writing stronger. What is harder to measure, but every bit as important, are the broad ripples made by each pencil--the grace and inspiration leading toward a lifelong writing journey promising fulfilling adventures."

            -Linda Cooper, Writer-in-Residence

"This group of young adults (aged 15 to 18) came from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Each one brought something unique and challenging to the table. After a year of intense talking, deep thinking and deliberate writing, they've discovered as much about themselves as they have about writing. I've bored them silly talking about 'muscular verbs,' 'details-details-details,' and 'dynamic titles,' but apparently they've listened. Their wonderful writing proves it."

            -Renee Roehl, Writer-in-Residence

"Students came to think of themselves as writers. . . . They learned to focus on details and be very specific in their writing, using similes and metaphors--plus many of them learned to care deeply about writing. Witness this remark from a third grader: 'I have learned that writing is a big part of my life now. Before Susan came, I would just sit at home on the couch, but now as soon as I get home, I start writing.'"

            -Susan Virnig, Writer-in-Residence

"Students were able to write in ways that were authentic, using their real voices along with descriptive details and imagery rather than stereotypical 'poetic' ideals. They realized that if they described what came to mind and what their memories and sensory impulses actually revealed, their poems had a powerful, sensory-specific and even emotional impact on their readers. They realized that poems could also have silly details and be fun to read."

            -Amy McCaffree, Writer-in-Residence

"I've learned that all of my students are great writers! This program helps me focus on individual writers and on how I can help them improve their writing skills."

            -Classroom Teacher

What Students Are Saying About the Writers-in-Residence Program:

"I think that I've done better in writing because of this program, because I know how to get more creative."

            -Fourth grader, Opportunity Elementary

"I didn't see myself as a poet, but now I do."

            -Freshman, Barker High School

"Before I thought I wouldn't be a great poem writer, but I learned if you believe in yourself and you put your whole heart into something, maybe, just maybe, your project will turn into a success."

            -Fourth grader, Opportunity Elementary

"I like Susan because she inspired me to write different things other than 'Roses are red, violets are blue.'"

            -Third grader, Garfield Elementary

"I used to think I was a really bad at writing, but I have learned that there are so many different ways to write that I have to be good at least one of them."

            -Third grader, Garfield Elementary

"I learned that you don't only have five senses. You have seven when you're writing. You have feel, smell, see, taste, hear, imagination and heart. Those are your seven senses."

            -Third grader, Garfield Elementary

"You'll be surprised at how much more deeply you get into your writing. It was kind of fun. You will learn a less conventional way of writing an essay."

            -Eighth grader, North Pines Middle School

“Because of the work they did with the Writer-in-Residence in third grade, my fourth graders show more creativity when they start the year. For example, in the writing prompt "I'm Cold," students will describe what they see on a winter day or describe what their body feels like instead of just listing cold things. In the past, I had to dig pretty deep for months before this concept occurred.”
    -Kris Williams, 4th grade teacher at Ness Elementary

Quotes from students on their Writers in Residence Evals, 2009-2010

Has your idea of yourself as a writer changed because of this program:

“Yes, I actually feel like a true poet and have been come more excited about sharing my work and have become confident in my writing.”

“I’ve learned how to use my voice in prose. I’ve seen how writing is valued everywhere.”

“I have more faith and confidence in the work I produce.”

“Yes it has because now I feel more confident in myself because of this program.”

“I feel that it is fun and I don’t want to stop.”

“Yes, it has become more fun because we get to sometimes describe how we feel in poems so it has gotten very interesting.”

“I feel different because I’ve never saw a writer in my own life.”

“Yes, because she taught me a whole bunch of writing styles.”

“I feel like I am in love with poetry.” (Lidgerwood 3rd grader)

How did you feel when reading your writing aloud:

“It was nice since everyone else is here because we all want to write poetry and make it better.”

“Scared at first of course, but then I was proud when people clapped and smiled.”

“I felt kind of embarrassed because some of my poems are weird but I like them.”

What did you like about your visiting writer:

“Everything, pretty much. It was great to hear how they start with so little to how they get to a book.”

“I liked everything. It was an amazing experience to be able to learn and grow as a writer.”

“She is very, very nice. I want her to be in my class for writing every year.” (2nd grader)


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