I picked up his paper post. He had put in a pile with the other practice posts I have students do before they blog. I call it paper blogging. It’s a test run for our Kidblog site.
A post-it covered his paper stating, “Do not read.”
Curious. Compliance mixed with self-preservation?
When he came to class, I asked what he had in mind, re-explaining the purpose of paper posts, reminding him of the social aspects of blogging. “Perhaps this isn’t what you want to share?”
The look on his face said what I thought after I said it. Dumb question. Of course not!
I assured him I didn’t read it and suggested he tape it in his Writer’s Notebook, adding that is the space for things we want to keep private.
He got the tape and secured it inside.
“D,” who sits across from him, was watching. She asked him to pass the tape and placed her paper post in her notebook.
“E” followed suit.
Apparently, three out of six students at this table had written something that was for their eyes only.
Later each shared another piece of writing for the blog. They commented on others and read their comments. Joyfully. The other work tucked away.
Without a doubt, my students love the blog. And, they need their notebooks.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. I am grateful for this space to practice what I preach. Read more posts here.
16 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Do Not Read”
Isn’t giving the option of “Do Not Read” a wonderful practice for students. I think it’s actually encouraged my students to be more free with their writing.
There is something sacred about the writer’s notebook. Sometimes we need to have the space (and the permission, which you granted) to write something private.
It’s so important to allow for and honor privacy if we want to nurture authentic writing. Well done! Thanks for sharing.
I love how you honored the privacy of your students. I love how you provide safe places for them to write and to share (or not share) their words and ideas. It’s like this is a love letter to notebooks, and blogs, and writing!
That’s fantastic to use your writing spaces so effectively: Social writing and private writing.
What a great way to begin the new school yesr
You show such respect for your kids’ work. They must all feel honored and special. Sometimes my students will write a blog post that they post only to me. There are times when words are meant to be shared with only one person. I am honored to be that person for my students.
Sometimes after you put your words down on paper you realize they are too soul revealing. Thank goodness they have a teacher with the sensitivity to realize that.
I love how you watch and learn from them. How you give them space to understand how to keep different kinds of personal information close, but release others.
What lucky kids to have a teacher who understands that not all writing is public. I could picture the table with writer after writer choosing to put the first piece away.
I imagine you just took big steps of trust forward with those students, and of course others watching, Julieanne. What a wonderful start for those students.
That’s certainly mutual respect in action.
How interesting that your students have enough confidence in themselves to assert their need for privacy and in you to honor that need. I don’t think I had a clue at that age!
This certainly validates your post about the importance of a notebook in a digital world, doesn’t it? What reassurance your students must feel that something they write can be respected in this manner. I think this will be the seed for some amazing writing this year!
They are just like us – somethings are written just for themselves, and they need the space (and the sanction) to do so. You gave them both, my friend.
Sometimes writers write for themselves. Thank you for honoring your students’ writerly lives! You are the best! Have fun blogging!