6 Things I’ve Learned as a Children’s Creative Writing Tutor

I teach children creative writing and here’s what I’ve learned so far…

1.)  Every child has a creative voice

When children feel at ease and comfortable in the presence of their teacher, they love to use their voice to express their ideas for story writing.

I’ve seen first-hand how giving children autonomy is key to opening the lid to their imagination and creative voice. When we allow children to tell us how they’d like to plan their stories, we’re showing them that we trust them to get on with it. This sense of empowerment is fun and vital for helping children to build their creative confidence.

2.) Time to imagine and plan great stories

Some children are chatter boxes whilst others are naturally quiet. Aside from igniting children’s creative spark, I’ve found all children respond well to gentle encouragement, with a ‘have a go’ vibe, that helps motivate children to explore their storytelling voice. Children appreciate the time I give them to think through their ideas, without me chattering away about what they should think! This enables them to explore their own ideas, where their unique creativity flourishes 😊

3.) Quality feedback

A lot of what I have learned about teaching creative writing has come from children themselves. It takes time to build a rapport with students, but that’s ok because once it’s there, what you have, is a solid foundation for learning to thrive.

Knowing when and how to give effective feedback to children is a skill that I’ve developed over the years and continue to develop. Although it sounds easy and straight forward, I promise you it’s not! Questions I often ask myself include, what does effective feedback look like? How do I know my feedback has been understood? How do I know it’s been useful?

4.) High expectations

I have high expectations for my students because I know they all have creative potential. However, it’s not about me setting a high bar and expecting everyone to jump over it at a certain time, in a certain way. Instead, it’s about understanding how to communicate high expectation in a way that will motivate children’s desire to learn. I’ve seen that open-ended questions stimulate and challenge children’s train of thought which can often lead to all sorts of interesting places!

5.)  Children are natural storytellers

Giving children encouragement and freedom to write the stories they want to tell, boosts their confidence and personal agency. Give them a regular opportunity to do this and they’ll go for it! This enthusiasm naturally translates into the classroom, positively impacting the quality of work that children produce in their school lessons.

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6.)  Mindset matters

To stand a chance of success, children need self-belief. It’s the first stepping stone on the adventurous path to success! I’ve learned that maximising my mentoring skills involves teaching children about the value of having a growth mindset and all the amazing things, of which we are capable of achieving!

Posted on May 25th 2022

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