MARK LOWERY Wemust find time for creativewriting during teacher CPD sessions 30 | BLOCK D uring seventeen years in teaching, I must’ve attended a hundred CPD sessions about writing. I’ve brainstormed six trillion ways to write in other subjects. I’ve got a black belt in 17 forms of assessment. I’ve moderated so hard I thought I might lose an eye. I’ve been rigorously drilled in how to write feedback comments, how to not write feedback comments, and how to express feedback comments through contemporary dance. I’ve attended a seven-day summit in Davos to resolve the whole purple-pen-green-pen controversy. And I’ve watched communicate effectively. We all agree that children learn better when their teacher is confident, enthusiastic, and has sound subject knowledge. And we all agree that it’s really hard to model anything in front of children, especially if you haven’t had much practice at it. Yet, for a lot of primary teachers, creative writing isn’t two mature female colleagues slug it out like drunken sailors in the car park over whether or not we should use ‘well done’ stickers in books. But how many meetings have focused on me becoming a better writer? Exactly four. And those four sessions only happened because I asked the headteacher if I could run them myself. If I hadn’t asked, then I wouldn’t have ever had any training to develop my skills and confidence in writing. We all agree that writing is central to the curriculum, and hugely difficult. We all agree that future employers are crying out for a creative workforce who can something they’ve actually done since secondary school. To quote a former colleague: “Outside the classroom, I never even write a shopping list.” If schools find time and opportunities for teachers to develop their own writing skills, the benefits can be enormous. I believe that creative writing CPD has the potential to change a whole Wri ter’s “For a lot of primary teachers, creative writing isn’t something they’ve done since secondary school”