Some thoughts have been bouncing around in my head the last few days. Today I had the most fun with my students conferencing on their writing, talking about their books and just building our classroom community. I have been trying to take the suggestions of my PLN and write with my students. Less convoluted inauthentic writing and more real life reflective type things. Students are not told what to write about but we do guide each other through the process.
Today we talked about “The perfect”…fill in the rest of the sentence. This writing comes out of Write Like this by Kelly Gallagher and the book has been a true gift to my classroom, helping me reshape my writing to meet my students needs not just prepare them for a test. The conversation previous to the writing was funny. We watched that scene from Miss Congeniality about the perfect date…April 25th if you are wondering and then brainstormed things we could talk about. Vacations, Meals, Workouts…were some of the suggestions. We Jokingly discussed what their perfect date would be (mom taking them to get ice cream while she sat in the car, they are 12 after all) and then we just wrote.
The less perfect moments of my day took over at this time as a student struggled, didn’t want to write and wouldn’t express why. I think we forget sometimes that even with our modelling, our conversations and our help students can and do still become frustrated. The tasks can have as many accommodations as possible but the frustration can still grow. I don’t prescribe to the thinking that some kids “just can’t write” I think we just have to help them see that while they are not the best writer yet all writing just starts with one word. In the end I do not think the writing really had anything to do with the students apprehension or resistance. I am very sure it was something else but I did not find out today.
This moment brought me back to my thoughts of the weekend. With the holiday season fast approaching we need to be aware of the struggles our students face not just at school. We have kids excited about that “perfect holiday” they are going on or that “perfect meal” with the “perfect family” but what about the student that won’t receive that perfect gift or holiday or even meal. Do we know those children? Do we do what we can to help them?
There is so much more to teaching I find than just delivering the material. Some days are perfect, we learn we have fun and we go home. Other days we are reminded that not everything is perfect, that we struggle, that students struggle and that maybe we can do better by them. Today was such a mixed bag of awesome and not so much. It may not have been perfect but then again learning and growing is never a bad thing.