Workshop is messy on any given day, but workshops between procedural lessons and lessons to lift and support writers are the messiest. The only constant I can count on is uncertainty. I watch my young writers at work. I step back to take this all in and think who needs me the most right now, where can I make the biggest impact?
I pause to listen to these stories (as best as I can in classroom of 27 six-year-olds, each with a story to share). After they’ve shared their story I comment, “I can’t wait to read that story!” or “Wow, you already have an idea for writing workshop!” Some walk away shaking their heads, eager to write their story, others look at me puzzled as if they aren’t sure why I would say this when they just told me the story. (I often wonder if they’re thinking, “Weren’t you listening?”).
Writers need to feel ready to write and knowing where, what and how you will begin this thing called writing is an important start. Space and tools are unique to the writer and can change from day to day. Respect this and allow the opportunity for each writer to search and make choices for writing.
I am uneasy referring to myself as an author. I have writers I admire and I know there’s a vast divide between us, but I write. I enjoy writing; I write to improve my voice and my craft all in an effort to teach my students what it means to be a writer. As an educator I know all my students ARE writers. I don’t qualify who is and who is not a writer by the quality of their writing. I am working to give myself this same level of acceptance as a writer.
Choice Brings Agency and Focus The multitude of choices open to learners today has brought more authenticity and agency to our classroom. These opportunities have refocused how we plan, write, learn, and our roles… Continue reading
Writers within a community understand the importance of their writing community and work to maintain its existence. Because the students value their writing community, they also feel accepted and free to try new ideas, take risks, and push themselves to be their personal best. They feel encouraged internally and externally.
One question I am often asked about using technology is, “How do you get started?” The answer is actually a simple one – humbly.