I do not offer individual tutoring. I love the group interaction of the classroom and I am at my best there! Writing is one subject that is taught most effectively in a lively group setting.
No, I do not offer classes in the summer. I spend the summer reviewing, revising, and recharging for the new school year, so I can be ready and refreshed when classes start!
Students who are enrolled in a full time school are not eligible for my classes for several reasons:
- My classes, both local and online, are held live during the school day, when students are attending school. I do not offer any after-hours or pre-recorded classes.
- Students enrolled in a full-time school that includes a language arts class do not have time to do all the work that is required for my courses in addition to the work for another language arts class. Students who take my class are expected to complete all the work that I assign and there simply isn’t time to do that with two language arts classes.
- Keeping up with the methods and requirements for two different language arts teachers would be confusing for the student rather than helpful.
Classes start the day after Labor Day and end approximately the last week of April/first week of May, depending on how the calendar falls each year.
Classes meet every other week. In between, students have a nine-day writing schedule. They are supervised by a parent, who is called the Editor.
I stumbled into the two week schedule. After I agreed to teach my first paid classes for a co-op, I learned that they only met every two weeks. I was skeptical that such a schedule would work. I soon changed my mind, because the extra week between classes produces great results.
Not counting weekends, weekly students have only four non-class days each week to write. This adds up to eight days per two weeks. In contrast, the 2-week schedule allows nine days to write. The assignment sheet breaks the work into nine daily “to-do” lists. The extra day makes a huge difference in the pace of the work.
Once people experience the less frantic pace of biweekly classes, they come to appreciate it as much as I do!
For online classes, the maximum number of students per class is 14, which is the most students I can manage well on the Zoom screen. For local classes, the maximum number is 16; that is all I have room for in my classroom. Generally the classes are smaller than the maximum number.
We have a week break for Thanksgiving week, a 5-week break at the end of 1st Semester (Dec. into Jan.), and a Spring Break week during the first full week of April.
The only people who are not good candidates for Writing to Learn classes are parents who want their students to be mainly autonomous.
My classes require each student to have a Parent Editor, a parent who stays in tune with what the student is doing and helps to the extent necessary. The Parent Editor has specific responsibilities; see the list here.
I am very committed to offering The Very Best Writing Classes in the USA 🙂 and supporting parents as they help their students. It is my joy to problem solve with parents whose students have difficulties so that their students can grow and succeed in their writing.
All students can learn to write well, and I have seen it happen repeatedly in my 20 years of IEW teaching. During this time, I have had hundreds of students, many with language learning issues, who have gone on to college and/or career and succeeded tremendously in their writing!
Yet every year I have a few students who do not progress because they do not put in the work necessary. This usually happens because either:
1) No one supervised them to make sure they did the work.
2) No one helped them if they had difficulties.
All students need help and external motivation.
Parents who want a hands-off class for their students are not a good fit for Writing to Learn classes.