I’ve been wondering lately, am I making this — writing workshop, reading workshop, teaching — too hard? With my quest to zero in on good instruction, wise conferring, and powerful shares have I lost the magic? As I strive to take advantage of every moment, have I become too controlling? Too contriving? Too sequential?
I am apt to likened a strong workshop to a good marriage. It takes work and dedication, but it isn’t hard. It doesn’t feel like work. Strong marriages seem to unfold in an organic, natural way. Shouldn’t our workshops be like this too?
I have found when I quit trusting students, when I quit trusting the process, when I take my eyes off of the goal of empowerment, it is then that I begin making the teaching too hard. This post is a reminder to myself to keep the faith. Above all else, I must trust the process and the fact that when empowered, young writers can work wonders with their words.
3 thoughts on “Am I making it too hard?”
I often ask myself the same thing, not just about writing workshop, but about teaching in general. Am I too structured to let those little magic, teachable moments occur? I try not to be, but I wonder how often I miss them or something a student is trying to share. I’m glad I’m not alone.
This year, I promised myself, that no matter what, I was going to HAVE FUN reading and writing with kids EVERY DAY. We were going to read more great books, laugh more, pursue more of their interests through books (today I spent an hour helping build a pyramid of Egyptian facts on a wall). We were also going to spend more time writing for real reasons, and I was going to do less with trying to have kids write in genres like memoir, and more with cards and letters and research. I don’t know what it is going to look like in the end, but kids are definitely more engaged and are talking more about books, and seem to be reading and writing more. I guess it’s all about BALANCE.
When I finished reading your post, I sat and thought about it, and then I realized, sometimes it’s not the young writers that can work wonders with their words. Thanks for the reminder to keep the workshop about reading and writing.
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