While we are away

Sitting down and watching a little Homeland after a day of working out, blogging, yard work and a walk I begin to blog again. I wrote about the early days of this separation from my students the interruption to all the big plans that I have had for how this year was going to end, the writing we planned to do, the exploring. I decided early on I wanted to try and accomplish these goals even with our distance in the way. Funny distance in the way…

Now we are about 8 weeks into this, I have students writing in all of my classes. Not all of my students, some have chosen to disengage from this process, I invite them back and hope they will join us again but I also understand this whole journey is a lot and some of us just can’t do more than get through the day. I hope we can figure out a working system for those students come September because this is not likely to be resolved by then.

I have noticed one thing though that I think is super important to note and reflect on. My students that are engaged, that are writing, they are crushing it. They are talking about their dreams, they are talking about their goals, their families. They are choosing topics to explore completely free of any set rules or direction beyond lets just keep writing and they are crushing it. They are telling me about their sleeping in and deciding to do some work in the afternoon, they are letting me know they are bored, that they are working on the farm or working out on a home made rig and starting to bench real weight. They are talking about their holidays past and hopefully present. They are comfortable and exploring themselves as writers.

I don’t know what it is exactly that has shifted while we are away from the traditional classroom setting. In the room we would have still been writing, conferencing and sharing, we all preferred the immediate in the room, they all say that. The only thing that has changed is flexibility. They work when they want, they write when they want about what they want. We work on feedback. They know their grades won’t be dropping as per government orders so maybe that is freeing?

I am not a silver linings type. This COVID closure sucks. I miss my students, I miss the light up when they notice how much I love their writing (in person). I miss talking about books with them, and putting them in their hands.

I miss a lot.

But a funny thing is happening for some while we are away. They are growing.

Finding themselves as writers.

I can be grateful for that.

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