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TEACHERS AND WRITING

Teachers and Writing


Rubi Ramirez
October 26, 2015
LBS 355 01
Paper #2 Draft #3
4 pages

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Teachers and Writing

Teachers often have to grade their students writing, but who grades the teachers writing?
Many students feel apprehensive when writing essays or doing other writing assignments. The
truth is, many teachers are just as anxious about writing. However, does being anxious about
writing necessarily mean that a person is a bad writer? An article by Lavelle (2006) examines the
relationship between teachers writing self-efficacy and their writing performance. In the
paragraphs to follow, I will summarize and discuss Lavelles article, and then, I will analyze my
own writing and writing self-efficacy, along with the effect my skills and writing self-efficacy
has on my teaching.
Lavelles (2006) article discusses research she conducted, examining the relationship
between teachers writing self-efficacy and their writing performance. She used sixty-four
teachers from a Midwestern university for her research; Lavelle used the writing of these sixtyfour teachers to score them using a holistic rubric and a deep and surface rubric (Lavelle, 2006).
Lavelle also used the Low Self-Efficacy Scale, which measured the teachers beliefs regarding
writing competence (Lavelle, 2006). The higher the score on the Low Self-Efficacy Scale, the
lower the self efficacy. According to Lavelle (2006), there is indeed a relationship between
writing self-efficacy and writing performance; the teachers who scored high on the Low SelfEfficacy Scale scored low on writing performance. Overall, Lavelles (2006) research concludes
that those who have low writing self-efficacy also have a low writing performance.
I believe that there is a relationship between how a person feels about his or her writing
and how well the person actually writes. I am a writing tutor and I see this relationship within my
students. The students who are confident about their writing and come in to see me just to go
over minor things are usually the students with well written papers. The students who tell me that

TEACHERS AND WRITING

they are lost or are nervous when starting essays are usually the students with unorganized drafts
for me to look at. Lavelles (2006) research was heading in the right direction because I do think
her conclusion, that those that have low writing self-efficacy usually have a low writing
performance, is true. However, her research could be stronger. I dont think that sixty-four
teachers from one specific university are enough writing samples to make a conclusion. These
sixty-four teachers could have had the same educational background because they are from the
same area. Therefore, Lavelles research does not include teachers from diverse backgrounds.
She should use the Low Self-Efficacy Scale and her other two rubrics on a wider range of
teachers from schools all over the country in order to make her research stronger. In short,
Lavelles (2006) research is a great start to see the relationship between writing self-efficacy and
writing performance; however, her research needs to be more diverse.
Overall, I am pretty confident when it comes to my writing. I love to write and I see it as
a form of self-expression. Ive always done well in writing and have never received a failing
grade on an essay. I think that my confidence grew from practicing my writing a lot and from
having great teachers that taught me well and cheered me on. After receiving a couple of good
grades on essays, I realized that writing is something that I could do, if I work hard at it.
However, this does not mean that I do not have days when I feel insecure about my writing. As a
writing tutor, I feel a lot of pressure from my boss and my students to know every single writing
rule and to be the most amazing writer. On the contrary, I am not perfect and my writing is
definitely not perfect. I learn along the way, just like my students do. Furthermore, I believe that
writing is an essential part of life in school, the workforce, and even life, in general. Not every
job requires a person to know math or science, but every job does require a person to be familiar
with writing, even if its just to write a business letter or a resume. This is why I believe that

TEACHERS AND WRITING

having a high writing self-efficacy is important. Teachers could benefit from Lavelles (2006)
study because they can use the rubrics Lavelle used, in order to see what they need to work on
and improve their writing, making them improve their writing self-efficacy along the way.
Writing is going to follow us everywhere we go; we might as well learn to be comfortable with
writing effectively.
Analyzing Lavelles (2006) research and writing this essay makes me realize that writing
self-efficacy is not just important for the teachers sakes alone. Teachers writing self-efficacy
and writing performance affects the students as well. If teachers are uneasy about writing, then
how can they expect their students not to be? Writing is something that teachers and students are
going to be faced with for the rest of their lives. This means that teachers and students have to
work hard to raise their confidence on writing, even if the teachers have to take some extra
writing workshops in order to gain writing skills that they can teach to their students.

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References

Lavelle, E. (2006). Teachers Self-Efficacy for writing. Electronic Journal of Research in


Education Psychology, 4(1), 73-84.