Long Roads, Short Distances: Teaching Writing and Writing Teachers
"Long Roads, Short Distances" is a poignant, personal, and humorous account of Brenda Power's experiences learning to teach college literacy methods courses. It is a story filled with bumps in the road, forays into the ditch, and wrong turns. But it is also the story of learning to pull over and rethink the destination, of turning the wheel over to students, of enjoying the detours that may end up being the best part of the trip.
Power offers several new twists on teaching writing. First of all, her work is with preservice teachers. Throughout the book she demonstrates how the theory that is so central to supporting younger authors is just as important when working with adult students. These stories of real people are powerful and offer evidence of Power's growth as a learner and her effectiveness as a teacher of writing. We see her evolve over time as she shares with us the influence of working aside Pat McLure, remembers conversations with other teachers and "experts," quotes from authors who understand the challenges of becoming a writer. Later in the book, we see Power analyze her own students' writing in a manner that is just as insightful and sensitive as those who have inspired her.
As Ralph Fletcher writes in the foreword, ": this is a stub-your-toe" staff development book. Because Power shows the warts in her teaching, readers can empathize with her keen insight into writing instruction for students of any age.
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