Thursday, May 21, 2009

Building Relationships with Boy Writers

Ralph Fletcher, in his book Boy Writers and Jeffrey Wilhelm in his book, Reading Don't Fix No Chevys write about building relationships with boy writers.

Jeffrey Wilhelm calls it an implicit social contract [Page 99 - Chevys] which includes several regular features:

1. A teacher should try to get to know me personally.
2. A teacher should care about me as an individual.
3. A teacher should attend to my interests in some way.
4. A teacher should help me learn and work to make sure that I have learned.
5. A teacher should be passionate, committed, work hard, and know her or his stuff.

Wilhelm writes that if a teacher meets even one of these conditions, boys tended to respond positively and learn from and work hard for that teacher.

Similarly in Ralph Fletcher's book, Boys Writing [Page 167] developing relationships are key. Fletcher's quotes,

1. "We're not teaching writing - - we're teaching writers".
2. "Writing is personal."
3. We want every boy to connect with writing in a personal way, to say to himself:
4. Yeah, I can do that. I'm a writer

Nurturing, encouraging and supporting our boy writers begins by forging strong relationships. Fletcher believes that every one of us can connect with our boy students.

And so do I.

Authors who write about Boys and Learning:


  1. Good stuff, Kent. Relationship - at the core of my teaching process.

  2. I like this blog.
    It is motivative for me.

    1. Glad you like it. Hope to get back to updates in Fall 2015.