Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fully-fledged what?

Fully-fledged teacher, that's me. Yes, indeedy. Much to my surprise.
And hff was meant to be a blog on teaching and writing, altho' so far there's precious little of either in evidence...

A letter in this month's Writing Magazine tho' really brought out the newly-trained teacher in me. Jacquie Seddon from London wrote to the mag to say that, having taken up writing after years of drug addiction and other difficult stuff, her first assignment 'came back marked poor'.
POOR? Who marks someone's first assignment as poor? What happened to medals and missions? Things to work on? Areas for development? First rule: don't tell someone they're crap at something; suggest ways they might improve their performance.

Well, okay, she went on to get three 'excellents' (it's all very black and white with this tutor, isn't it?) and has been on an upward path ever since. And I'm glad because a lesser person could well have thrown the towel in after that first assignment. Good on you, Jacquie. Poor indeed!

9 comments:

KAREN said...

That's awful. When I was a newbie writer a word like poor would have set me back months...I only used to focus on the negatives!

Well done on being fully-fledged, by the way :o)

Honeysuckle said...

Thanks Karen,

I'm still a bit stunned that I got accepted on the course, never mind that I actually finished and passed it!
We all seem to focus on the negatives, don't we? - Insecure Writer Syndrome maybe?

womagwriter said...

That is terrible. I would have given up writing. Luckily I had some very positive feedback on a couple of my first efforts.

Casdok said...

Yes good on you - Jacquie!
And congratulations on being Fully-fledged!

SpiralSkies said...

Good grief, I can't understand how anyone could be so deliberately cruel and crushing. Like Womag, I'd have given up on the spot.

Fully fledged eh? That deserves a serious choc-fest, surely? Well done!

Penny said...

Couldn't agree more! It quickly dawns on you just how much power for good or ill you can have in these situations. Or at least - it should!

Maddie Moon said...

Congratulatons, Honeysuckle, on completing and passing the course. That's a great achievement.

Honeysuckle said...

Hi Womag - I think I must've been lucky too in having an encouraging tutor on the WB course. If he'd just baldly said my work was poor, I'd still be whimpering now.

Thanks, Casdok and Maddie!

Spiral Jen and Penny - it's so easy to knock someone's confidence unthinkingly. You do need a very thick skin in order to survive as a writer, for so many reasons!

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