writing reflections

I always have a memoir in my reading stack with a book mark about two thirds of the way through. I find that reading memoir takes time. They overwhelm me with intimacy. Writing is always personal, but memoir cuts deeper.

Whenever I start a memoir unit with young students we look for emotional and important moments. This can be difficult for some which made me think that perhaps nine-year olds don’t have enough perspective or experience to access this. But what I’ve come to realize is what may look like failure to write is not necessarily about writing or being a writer. It might not be a place they are ready to go to. Looking back on our last five weeks, I am struck by my students’ bravery.

We notebooked for two weeks, then wrote and published one a week. Each with a celebration of reading and commenting.

Yesterday, I asked students to reflect on their growth as writers. More importantly, I asked them, are you enjoying writing this year?

I want to know how they feel,
and at the same time,
I’m afraid to know how they feel.

Fortunately, responses were positive. For many it is fun and makes them happy. And even when they struggle they have not felt lost. Based on their comments, writing has been instrumental in their community, especially in this year of non contact.

There was this,
it lets me share stories with other people.

And this,
I am enjoying it because there are many good stories people write.

And this from a kiddo who said writing was hard,
I enjoy writing about fragment’s of my life and sharing it to other people and also seeing a little of their life.

And then this one. A quiet soul who lost his grandfather to COVID in December,
No and yes. No because the only good ideas I have are the ones that make me the saddest,
and yes because I can share my experience with my classmates.

They remind me of why I have developed friendship through blogging.
They remind me of why writing is so important. For connection, for support. To be humans together.

Day 6. Slice of Life Challenge 2021.
Read more slices here.

11 thoughts on “writing reflections

  1. Your post touched me. Made me miss that connection with children when I taught. Made me realize just how important it is to give children that unit os study and to give them the time to write. Thank you.

  2. This was beautiful. Your students have clearly learned the importance of writing, which is, as you state, for connection and support. They are very fortunate to have you as their teacher in these crazy times.

  3. What a gift you have given to these students! I hope they continue to write and remember the teacher who loved them enough to teach them the power of words.

  4. So tender this reflection on the risk of writing. The youngster who captured the “saddest” and the “sharing” said it all. Nothing helps sadness like being afforded the opportunity to share it. Your honesty about “want[ing] to know how they feel” coupled with that reluctance to actually know…I so appreciate that here.

  5. Love this “be humans together.” We are in it together. Writing helps us connect, tell our stories, and be present.

  6. That was really powerful. Kudos to you for being brave enough to ask the question, kudos to them for being honest with you, and kudos to you all for the safe classroom environment you have created.

  7. There are some great observations in your post, both yours of your students and those about writing by your students. Yes, let’s be human together. That struck a chord with me! I am so happy to hear that your students are enjoying their writing experience this year.

  8. Your braveness in posing the question: Are you enjoying writing this year? has been met with a response that clearly validates your efforts to incorporate writing into your students’ lives. The importance of writing you are teaching them will serve them well for years to come. Bravo, teacher!

  9. Such an important question to ask your students and I love the responses. This one seems so grown-up.
    I enjoy writing about fragment’s of my life and sharing it to other people and also seeing a little of their life.
    Great to connect with you again being humans again after a long year.

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