Thursday, March 6, 2014

Walking in Someone Else's Shoes.

WRITE. Every day in March write a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE. Link your post in the comments on each daily call for slice of life stories here at TWT. GIVE. Comment on at least three other slice of life stories/blogs.
Day 6 of the writing challenge has allowed me to walk in my reluctant writer's shoes for the day. I think back to all of those student's who couldn't think of what to write. I would prompt them with questions or mentor texts or tell them straight out a topic to write about. Nothing could get them to write.
I have a list of topics that I have thought about for this challenge--nothing spoke to me today.
  • traveling
  • Moab
  • life in a large family
  • living in the city with parents who grew up on farms
  • moving to Panama
  • volunteering
  • racing up Pike's Peak
  • parenthood
  • teaching
  • students--success stories and not so successful stories
We expect students to write when it is dictated in our schedule. State tests expect students to write about topics that may have no meaning to them.

Writing instruction has been a personal professional goal for years. After every school year, I reflect in what went well that school year and how I could improve for the next. Writing usually topped the list.

I slowly made changes to my instruction: stopped using prompts, followed the writing workshop format, mentor texts to guide instruction to name a few.
Now, I am comfortable with teaching writing. I model my writing for students on the ELMO or chart paper. I even joined this challenge to stretch myself further. As a teacher, I thank Katie Wood Ray, Nancie Atwell, Georgia Heard, Ted DeMille, Lucy Caulkins, and Kathy King-Dickman (an educational consultant from Colorado who has worked with my school for 7 years--google her; she is amazing!).

When working with a reluctant writer, I have many tools, but now I have compassion and understanding!



  1. Here here! (or is it hear hear?) Anyway, I agree. This is painful. I have stayed up too late twice trying to write something. My voice and subject changes every day. I do have more empathy for my students now. I can also understand why they procrastinate.

  2. After this month I really do get it, with the kids! Some days are magic and some days are not....but 'turtle like' determination does count for something and there is better writing because of the quantity. It sound like you have had amazing mentors, Shari. xo