I believe the challenges that most students face when it comes to writing stem from how students are “taught” to write and what they write about. Many schools depend heavily on writing assessment without enough time spent teaching the recursive process required for creating quality writing. Further, the subject matter of that assessed writing is often dictated by teachers and test makers, depriving students from experiencing the true power of writing.
The written word and the ability to recursively return to ideas and deepen and expand on them is a uniquely human advancement. When I tutor students, instead of teaching them “how to write,” I show them how to use writing as a teacher, to learn more about what they want to know.
Students face similar challenges with reading; often they don’t get much input on what they read for school and the kind of active reading required for successful assessment is not always modeled. My tutoring sessions for reading incorporate books selected for enjoyment and for academic requirement and I offer methods that will make discussing and/or eventually writing about any book easier and more efficient.