After turning my writing switch on (see Tip #7), there came a day when I got hit by a story idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. It was that first idea that started me on this journey. I went to the bookstore and found a book on how to publish. From there I learned about the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I joined. And from there I discovered a local critique group—which turned out to be more than I ever imagined.
Tip # 8: Attend a Critique Group
Of all the professional development I did as a teacher—and I did a lot—attending my critique group was the most valuable. The only rule the group had was that you couldn’t share writing your first time attending. So I went just to listen. And it was amazing! The group was so welcoming and encouraging, the writing was beautiful, and the comments were so smart and insightful. It was incredibly inspiring to hear passionate readers and writers sharing their stories. But here’s what’s most important: The conversations that took place in my critique group made me a better writer and a far better teacher of writing.
I became so excited about my critique-group experiences that I went back to my classroom and implemented critique groups with my third graders. We were authors! That too, was an awesome experience! Look for implementing critique groups in the classroom to be next month’s teaching tip.
I’d love to hear from you if you find Mr. Terupt’s tips helpful or if you have additional thoughts or questions. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit me at robbuyea.com. Follow me on twitter @robbuyea. Look for tip #9 to be posted on Monday, March 7th.