Janet Brof: educational therapist
On Teaching Writing

Everyone can learn to write well— to organize ideas and express them clearly. From the start, I tell my students this.

PRAISE, genuine and specific, waters the writing buds;
there is no such thing as too much.

Understanding the history of the ENGLISH LANGUAGE
is valuable for all of us, but especially so for those with
dyslexia who struggle to learn spelling rules and are
confronted by irregular words that only etymology explains.

Along with essay writing, I often introduce short poems
for analysis. The heightened language of poetry
—rhythm, sound, imagery—stimulates the student
linguistically and leads to more powerful writing.
It also encourages a DISTINCTIVE VOICE, which is
important in college entrance essays and for high stakes
tests where voice is necessary for a top grade.

Often when students write, I write with them.
We share the results afterwards. Students feel encouraged.
They see that we struggle together.

The reason writing helps children with learning disabilities is that they do far more than learn to write: They learn to come to terms with a new image of themselves as thinkers— thinkers with a message to convey to the world.

Donald Graves from "All Children Can Write"