A New Chapter

I have been withholding a truth from my students all year. Quite frankly I’ve held it in to all of my students for the past 11 years. It’s time for me fully honest…

Here it is…

I greatly dislike writing.

Not the “oh it’s just not my favorite”, I flat out find no joy in writing a story. It makes it so hard to teach, let alone teach in the afternoon with no support! Sometimes it’s so hard that I’ll take any excuse not to do writing for a day if I can (which is so very rare for us to be able to “give up a day”). I always wish it, then realize I don’t have that kind of wiggle room and we muddle through. It’s not my best time of day, that’s for sure.

Phew. I’m glad I got that off my chest.

It’s so taboo for a teacher to say that they don’t like something. Part of teaching is acting like everything is the best thing out there just so we can captivate the minds of all our students – the ones who love it and the ones who don’t. I’ll share that writing is hard for me because we do hard things together. But that’s me sharing a half truth- it is hard, but I also don’t find the joy in it.

That is until this week. This is one of those special weeks where we got our unit done and we had 3 days before a break and just couldn’t see ourselves starting something fresh when so many kids would miss out on a day or two due to leaving early. So a colleague shared a way to digitally publish (I know- my last post displayed my love/hate relationship with technology, but this is a good one because it actually works and consistently- let’s hope I didn’t just jinx us). This digital way to publish is also super easy to navigate for the kids. Well, you would have thought I just gifted my students with an extra recess after I showed them how to use this new app. Everyone, I mean everyone- from the kid who always smiles during writing because it IS her favorite time of day to the kid who spends more than half of their time in the bathroom each day just to avoid writing was smiling. Kids were making decisions, telling their stories out loud, typing furiously on the chrome book, searching for just the right picture to illustrate their text. It wasn’t just peaceful, it was joyful.

It made me think of this slicing challenge. Writing for 31 days? Ugh- I avoided this one for a few years. But I always enjoyed reading the other posts- that’s because I am a reader. I see myself as a reader. I think it’s time I start to see myself as a writer and I might just start to find some more joy in it. My kids saw themselves as writers today and it opened up some doors that have been closed. I’m excited to start this new chapter and maintain this momentum with them.

Next step- sharing this post with them. It’s time to come clean.

By Kessick

Teacher.Mother.Reader.Writer?

6 comments

  1. I hope this month opens up a new side of writing for you, and that you do find that identity as a writer! I appreciate your honesty in sharing that you haven’t loved writing previously, and I think that you can be a powerful model for your students who might not love writing either! (Also it’s funny because my post tonight was literally the opposite of yours – I just gushed all about how much I love writing! lol) And that’s another thing I love about this challenge: meeting people with all different perspectives!

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  2. What a great opening! You totally had me hooked. I want to know what platform you used for digitally publishing (I’m going to have to go back and read your post from yesterday to look for clues. Will I find any??), and I love your description of the joy in your classroom. You say you don’t see yourself as a writer, but your writing is vivid and compelling to read, with such a fun voice! I think you already are one.

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    1. We were using book creator today for publishing. It was a math app that is my current Achilles heal. And thanks- I’ve been avoiding stretching this part of me for a long time- but a supportive community helps make “taking the plunge” easier and more fun!

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  3. I’m right there with you, friend!! This week has brought me so much joy. The fact that my students are begging for more writing time and using it as a whole class reward is mind boggling. Glad to have you along on this ride with me!

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  4. This post makes me feel like crying with joy! I love your honesty, and the joy you are finding bit by bit with your students. Have I mentioned I’m so thankful that you are slicing?

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  5. Helping kids to understand that adults aren’t perfect, teachers aren’t perfect, and actually no one is perfect is a valuable gift. I think the WHY is important. I’ve always told kids that when I was in elementary school I hated math because I thought I wasn’t good at it – because I am not a good memorizer. Then I show them what I’ve learned and what I now like about math. I can see this month of writing as a way for you to find moments of joy in writing. Thanks for sharing!

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