I used to begin the school year by telling all of my students that my job as an English teacher was the most important job in the world and that their class would be the most significant they would ever have. I used this bit of hyperbole to capture their curiosity, but I would explain to them that it was my job to teach them what they would have to use in all of their other classes, and jobs, for the rest of their lives. This was my way of expressing to them the importance of reading and writing in our society. I do not do this anymore because I truly value the movement of interdisciplinary writing and writing across the curriculum, and I would hate to belittle that concept to my students by demeaning my colleagues and their approach to teaching literacy skills. On the contrary, I want my students to make the connection that writing has across the spectrum of education.
Reading and writing are ways to analyze and synthesize life and help us find meaning in things. Writing is key to learning. It helps us process, decode, and understand our complex thoughts or the complex thoughts of others. A main focus of the “Writing is…” video was the fact that writing is an outlet; not only for creativity, but also for expression of thought and knowledge. All classes in content areas require these skills to learn, and writing is used in each of them.