#SOL15: Day 24, Lessons from My Children

Today was one of those days; nothing seemed to go right.

On my way home, I struggled to find some light spots in the day.

I walked in the house. My “I-really-don’t-like-reading” high school daughter came up to me and said, “Mom I read 200 pages last night!  I’m so proud of myself.”

She’s reading Insurgent. She saw the movie Friday night, bought the book Saturday,  I watched her read on Sunday. Her head down, totally in the book.

This may be “it,” I thought. The Book that shows her what it means to love reading.

We talked about why it was so good. She said, “I like to see the movie first. It helps me picture it.”  Hmm.  A lesson for my students perhaps.

My son is working with a few of my students. He’s thinking about teaching so what better opportunity to see what teaching looks like. During dinner, we talked about his thoughts, observations, and teaching moves. One of the students is a fast-taking-joke-telling, run-on sentence making, hyperactive blogger who has great stories to tell.

I asked my son how it went working with him. He said:

He seemed to understand my metaphor of playdough. You need to stretch writing out and play with it. So when you are writing digitally, if you hit return at the end of every line you can stretch out your writing and play with it, like playdough. That can help you see where ideas begin and end.

Never did I mention using a metaphor to teach writing. And playdough — perfect. He instinctively knew to do this. Jeez. Some people have to go to the Reading Writing Project, read Lucy Calkins, plan and practice the idea of using a metaphor to teach abstract ideas. My son just walks in and does it. If he weren’t my kid, I’d be exceedingly jealous. In the end, he came up with a cool strategy. Who knows what I might learn from him as he gets to know my students.

After dinner, my daughter came out to the kitchen saying, “Mom I’ve got to share this with you. My film teacher showed me these.”

“I just love them,” she said. “I watched them over and over.”

The fact that she wants to share, share things that matter to her and connect to ideas that matter to me made my night.  She walked back into her room saying, “I just love my film class.”

I can see why.

Being taught by your children is something to work towards and cherish. That was the light that happened today.

Thank you, Anna, Beth, Betsy, Dana, Stacey and Tara of Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting the Slice of Life March Story Challenge. Read other bloggers slices here

13 thoughts on “#SOL15: Day 24, Lessons from My Children

  1. I’m thinking you had the best kind of ending to a day – your children, casting light and bringing joy. I also love the playdough metaphor, which I am totally stealing for writing workshop today.

  2. Oh man we’ve all had those no good very bad days at school! By your kids. Wow. What an amazing evening and I can see how you learn so much from them. Thanks for sharing. I agree; I’m so stealing that playdough metaphor!

  3. Thank you Julieanne! I’m sorry your day was tough, but what a beautiful blessing you have in your children!!!! I watched the “Knock Knock” video and I have tears streaming down my face. THANK YOU for sharing your children with us today!

  4. It’s amazing what we can learn from our own children, isn’t it? My kids have been my best teachers, too. I’m glad you had the insight to glean those precious lessons at the end of a tough day.

  5. Julieanne,
    Thanks for sharing your blessings in the form of your children.

    I so loved this . . .”Some people have to go to the Reading Writing Project, read Lucy Calkins, plan and practice the idea of using a metaphor to teach abstract ideas.” I would be in this group. . . I’m sure many of your students will use metaphors in life, with their own children, because of your instruction!

    What a great day!

  6. I would love to meet your children. How great that your son is working with your students. I may need to steal the playdough idea. My kids are trying to write their slices quickly just to get them done. I’ll have to watch the videos later. Time to get ready for the day.

  7. This is a night to sit back and savor your time with your kids. All stars were aligned and you get a glimpse into the people they are growing to be. It’s a joy to see this in our kids.

  8. I got a little teary-eyed reading this. They were the good tears. How wonderful that they share these things with you so willingly. I bet you are fully present to them when they do and that is why they keep doing it.

  9. I loved this post. Your observations on your son just naturally using metaphor to teach an abstract idea made me laugh. Love that “Knock Knock” piece. Looking forward to listening to the other two. And I hope your daughter has found “that book”. What a wonderful observation from her about needing to see the movie first.

  10. There’s nothing better than an on-fire reader, and when that reader is your daughter… and then a son helping out in your classroom and sharing his experiences. It’s fun to share time with them, so glad they lifted you at the end of a tough day.

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