“Do we have to write?”
Uh oh. Not good. At first I’m surprised. They seemed to be gaining momentum. But was that just a mask? Doing what good students do for the teacher. I have wonderful students. Most have been in Writer’s Workshop since kindergarten. They want to please. But right now, they do not want to write.
This. Is. Forced.
It’s not that they can’t. They just don’t want to. There are some who have learned to love writing for its own sake or have found it a comfort and will ask if they can write on the weekend. A few did come up to me to say they wanted to write. Many are on the fence in this area and will sway with the tide. After all, they are ten-year olds. Let me rephrase that, they are people.Writing is hard.
It’s Friday. The playground calls. The bell rings. Yeah! they scream. I’m crushed. As we walk out to recess, students jubilant, me defeated, one student asks — “When are we going to start blogging?” Another says, “Yeah I forgot my password, so I haven’t been blogging.”
Could blogging be an answer? Or is it a quick fix that will fall a part the minute the newness passes. I think about Cornelius Minor’s chart reposted so many times on twitter that reminds me that technology is a tool, not a learning outcome. On the “wrong” side of the chart was creating blogs. Looking at the “right” side of the chart, we find starting conversations, joining partners, making a difference. Conversations matter. Making a difference, how powerful. That wouldn’t wear off. Blogging would put their writing in a bigger space — for conversation, connection, maybe making a difference.
Before I started blogging, I didn’t write — except when forced to. I could, but why? Now I sit here, writing on my blog. Now, if I think about myself as a writer, I find — I am called to write. I am looking for things that matter, things that connect, things that I can make sense of with writing. I have a place to put that out into the world. I have the hope of connecting and having a conversation. Blogging has changed me as a writer. Before I wrote when I had to. Now I want to.
Transfer to students — Is technology the means to create students who are called to write almost as much as they are called to the playground on a sunny Friday?
What do you think?
- Why Should we Blog? (msheathergalyen.wordpress.com)
- Instagram Can Help Treat Writer’s Block (twowritingteachers.wordpress.com)
- Youth writing competitions and the Tim Winton Award (fremantlepress.wordpress.com)