This is the page for support materials related to my presentation, “How to Teach Writing without Making Your Eyes Bleed.”

Nearly twenty years ago, I met an AP writing teacher who suffered subconjunctival hemorrhages from reading all her students’ work. Her eyes had popped vessels; literally, her eyes bled. She was also the most successful AP writing teacher West of the Mississippi!

When I was a teenager and suffering typical teenage angst and general confusion, this is the place I imagined to locate calm in my heart. My mother and her sister spent all their summers here. The “beach house” belonged to my grandfather and his third wife Genevieve, who was a weaver like me. It was the widowed and remarried Genevieve who willed the property back into my family through me, in hope that Gary and I would move home to Oregon and start a family. And that is precisely what we did. Both Gary and I had grown up with wild places all around—forest and desert (Gary’s seven years in Arizona) and riding for miles on our bikes. This was the childhood we wanted for our own children. This property made children possible.

In October 2022, I presented strategies to allow teachers to support their students’ writing without rupturing anything, and this page temporarily led to PDF pages of support material. At this point, it contains only my good intentions and my willingness to present strategies and specific assignments that support student learning and effective writing without damage to their teachers.

Teach Writing Without Making Your Eyes Bleed

Ideally, a student would write daily and their teacher would respond with three notes of encouragement for each gentle suggestion… That might work wonderfully if we had one student. We might manage if we had five. A class of thirty risks eyestrain. With a hundred students (or 206 students as I had one term) this sort of ideal give-and-take is impossible. I struggled for decades to find workarounds and I am eager to share.

For further information, email me about a presentation for your teachers or students.


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