Mrs. Vande Hey

Mrs. Nancy Vande Hey 

English Grade 8

Email: [email protected]  


Writing in English is like throwing mud at a wall.  Joseph Conrad

Sadly, many students find this quote from author Joseph Conrad an apt description of the writing process.  Given a blank page students tend to fall into one of two camps.  Camp one: "What?  Only one page?  I'll just write small and fill both sides!"  More commonly students fall into camp two: "Ugh, are you kidding me?  I have to fill this whole page?  Can I just write down what I wrote last time and change a few words?"

In my class, we learn the methods used by the Institute for Excellence in Writing® (or IEW®).  I am a certified IEW® instructor which means I've demonstrated that I not only know and understand the nine units in IEW® but I'm also experienced in teaching those units.  I've taught using these methods for 12 years and know they work to help shape students into more confident and skilled communicators.

To learn more about the IEW® method of writing check out this article: What is IEW?

In a nutshell, my students will practice basic skills needed for effective communication.  To quote the article linked above:

(These skills) were identified long ago by the ancient teachers of rhetoric, and they haven’t changed since: Invention (what to say), Structure (how to organize it), and Style (how to say it). What we do at IEW is nothing new, and that’s good. We don’t claim to have some brilliant and original way of teaching writing. (And by the way, I would be wary of anyone who does make such a claim.) We use an organized and proven method for teaching these basic skills, and because it works, students with a few years of IEW training generally fare far above average in their university classes and professional pursuits.

The structural units of our syllabus are relatively simple patterns for organizing different forms of compositions. They are easy to teach and easy to practice. This is a form of imitation, a discipline which lies at the foundation of learning any art well, whether music, painting, dance, or writing.

"What is IEW? Method not Madness," Andrew Pudewa

 I passionately believe that every person's voice needs to be heard in this world.  My goal is to help each student grow into a more competent and compelling writer in my classroom.