Thursday, November 5, 2009

Teaching Writing Is Hardest on the Writer

I love writing! Well, at least I did like Writing before I spent my day administering the district Writing test to third graders today. I'm a little upset with Writing now. Writing has left me with a little bit of a headache--not unlike a hangover. Seriously, though, I do love to Write. I need to Write to clear my head and I've been like that my entire life.

Even my journal, in second grade was overflowing. Not unlike my computer files from college, the countless notebooks I keep at home, and the blog I write in devotedly at twenty-four.

Because I love Writing so much, teaching it is kind of a double-edged sword. I love designing creative Writing opportunities that give students the opportunities to express the nuances of thought and language. Really good ones, at the right level, can hit everyone.

I've learned something, though, in my two and a half years of teaching. Not everyone is born with a love or an ability to write passionately and abundantly. Most kids need very structured scaffolded writing. They need me to give them those formulas and wait for them to expand them.

It's not that I mind teaching that way; there is something extremely rewarding in good teaching too. Good teaching is reaching all the students. My students are all becoming better Writers, but I want them to love Writing and to have it not be labored. I want them to feel about my old friend, Writing, the way that I do. They don't.

I should probably admit in closing this post that it is not Writing's fault I have a headache. It is not Writing's fault the children took over THREE HOURS to complete the test today. It is not Writing's fault I have been at my school over forty hours this week before Thursday started. It is not Writing's fault I am still exhausted.

Writing, I still love you!!!!

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