Okay! After last nights awful blog, I have learned my lesson to not try and write a blog between 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. I am going to redeem myself today by writing about students who share their writing. By the way, I trashed the other blog and I apologize to those that follow.
Many of us are well into the school year and it is hard to believe we are approaching the half way mark to October. Since September I have seen a slow but powerful transformation in my students as writers. On occasion I like to sit on the floor with my students in a big circle and give people an opportunity to share a piece of their writing. When I did this at the beginning of the school year this year, I saw very few hands rise in the air or most students simply stated, “Pass.” Developing a writers workshop where students are comfortable enough with their writing takes time. As the teacher, you have to put yourself out there on a pedestal and be just as vulnerable as your students when it comes to sharing a piece of writing. If students know you take a vested interest in writing, they will want to as well. Over the course of just a month I have witnessed a unique transformation in my classroom. Students are actively engaged in writing when it is time to do writing into the day, or it is independent work time for an assignment they need to complete. Furthermore, I see more and more people share during our circle time in class.
One of the most wonderful things I like is students who approach me with their journals and want me to read what they wrote. Seeing students genuinely excited about their writing gives me goose bumps. I really appreciate students who want to share their creativity with me by walking up to my desk and leaving their journal with a page marker where they want me to read. Students are starting to not only trust their classmates to hear their writing, but they are trusting me to read it.
In spite of the many strategies that are thrown at us as language arts teachers, I truly believe gaining a students trust is a chunk of the battle. I had a student today comment on how she never liked to share before, but she felt more outgoing. I asked her if she was more outgoing or she just felt more comfortable and she replied that she felt more comfortable. That is huge in my classroom. Students need to feel that they have some worth, especially when it comes to their writing.
I am seeing some miraculous writers starting to emerge from their shells, boys and girls alike!