It’s mid December, which means parent/teacher conferences, report cards, holiday shopping, card sending, and general merry-making (while trying to teach third graders about literary essays! Eek!) As 2017 begins to wrap up, and a new year beckons, I begin to reflect on the year that was. What went well? What didn’t? What did I learn? How can I do better moving forward? How can I do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t?
If I’m being honest, Amy Krouse Rosenthal has been on my mind. The world lost a treasure when Amy passed away from cancer on March 13, 2017. I hadn’t known she was sick until I read her now famous piece, You May Want to Marry My Husband, which was published 10 days before she died. I’ve always loved Amy’s children’s books and I Wish You More had become one of my favorite books. Tom Lichtenheld created the book with Amy and wrote about the experience for the Nerdy Book Club. Over the summer, I read Amy’s book Textbook (Not Exactly a Memoir) which was captivating and thought-provoking and so memorable.
So for my last Two Writing Teachers post of 2017 (don’t worry- I’ll be back in 2018!), I wish to honor Amy and all her writing has meant to so many of us. I wish to honor you, the teachers and coaches and educators who work so hard to bring a love of writing to your students. Our work is not easy but it sure is important.
For the year ahead, I wish us…
More sharpened pencils than dull ones.
More cheers for “Writing time!” than groans.
More time to listen to students than rattle off teaching points.
More passion than going through the motions.
More joy in the classroom than joy to be leaving it.
More personalized notebooks than impersonal multiple choice questions.
More Slices of Life than feeling sliced by life.
More choice than mandates.
More mentor texts than workbook pages.
More poetry than Daily Oral Language (DOL) activities.
More wonder than worksheets.
More understanding than impatience.
More forgiveness than resentment.
More risk-taking than sticking to the same old, same old.
More “aching with caring” than caring less about anything.
More moments to remember,
More writing to capture them.
Wishing all of this and more for you, dear educators! Happy Holidays to this community and in honor of Amy Krouse Rosenthal, let’s all consider doing something kind today.
(There is an amazing Facebook group, created by Kirby Larson, called #MoreforAKR where members share their acts of kindness inspired by and in memory of Amy Krouse Rosenthal. You come too.)