Writer in Residence

Teaching a Year 11 English class at MLC

We were lucky enough recently to have novelist Angela Savage working as a ‘writer in residence’ at our school for a week or so, giving some writing classes as well as working with individual students.

Angela Savage was terrific in the way she was able to work with groups of students and individuals and some promising writing emerged.  It’s one skill being able to write a really good novel; quite another to work with a group of forty + senior students and engage them in a writing activity and Angela could do both.

However, I was also interested in Angela’s own blog posting reflecting on that experience. (and heartened to see a writer with a blog!) When you’ve been working in schools for a long time sometimes you forget the unique strangeness of that environment. Angela’s post talks honestly about the sometimes confronting demands of the school environment.

Angela Savage is the author of Behind the Night Bazaar (Text Publishing). You can read her post here

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  1. Hi there readers of Warrick’s ‘teaching and learning’ blog. I wanted to add that being Writer in Residence at MLC was a great experience for me, not only when it felt like I’d succeeded in inspiring some of the girls with their writing, but also in terms of my own professional development – an unexpected benefit. I had the the good fortune to work with a group of highly skilled teachers from whom I learned techniques for better engaging and encouraging the girls to read their work out loud in class. In the early classes, it was like pulling teeth. By the end of my residency, there wasn’t enough time to hear from all the girls who wanted to read their work. But I also found that critiquing the girls’ writing made it easier for me to see similar faults in my own. Of course, being Writer in Residence in a school environment isn’t for everyone. But it was valuable for me.

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