Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day 2 of Teacher's Write:

So, my very first quick write is done, in both my journal and now here! The prompt/assignment was to go somewhere to people watch and turn your observations into a characterization. So... I decided to visit the library, the children's section specifically, to watch my favorite type of people... KIDS!

A small boy, about five or six years old, was slowly wandering the whole of the library. He was dressed very nicely, in long, red plaid shorts and a navy blue T-shirt. As he meandered through the rows of shelves, he drug a tote behind him. It swooshed back and forth on the carpet loudly. Presumably, the bag was loaded with books, though I couldn't really tell. The tote itself, was about a third his size in length and it clearly was too heavy or cumbersome for him to carry on his shoulder.

He started by circling the entire perimeter of the children's section, which is fairly large. Then, he methodically zig-zagged through the shelves. It was in the juvenile nonfiction section where I first really noticed him. He didn't smile, yet he didn't look particularly sad. I saw no adult watching him from a comfy chair as most parents do. Even still, he didn't seem to be lost. He just ambled his way around the library, never stopping to peruse the shelves; never taking a moment to visually locate a misplaced mother or a stray sibling.

I'm not sure if this is what the assignment was supposed to be, but this is what stemmed from the prompt and my day at the library.

This is my very first, EVER, blog post, on my very first, EVER, blog site!!! My thoughts on doing this are... first to have a place to share thoughts on teaching and all things education. I'm also using this as a place to share my writing for the writing workshop I am participating in. I've always wanted to write childrens' books, and hope that this may be my first step... but we will see!!!

So I've tasked myself with participating in Teacher's Write; an online writing workshop. The idea is to hone your craft in order to be both a better writing teacher and writer. The first day was basically a writing warm-up. You were to list things you wonder about and/or ideas and details for a project you are working on. Guess what? I'm not working on a project!

I decided to do the "I wonder..." idea. I actually do this at the beginning of the year with my students. In their Writer's Journals, the first section consists of nothing but different brainstorming activities. The "I wonder..." page is just one of these. The students revisit this section throughout the year to add to, and glean ideas for writing assignments.

Anyway... as with most writing assignments I give my students, some kiddos will immediately get to work with tons of ideas, and end-up producing an awe-inspiring product. However, there are those students who sit, staring blankly at their journal for most of the time period, and end up with only a sentence or two. On the wonderings page, I will have students who use 2 -3 pages of creative and amazing musings. Then, I will have a few students who only manage to write one or two phrases on their list. When asked, they almost always tell me, "I don't wonder about anything!"

As I stared at the page in MY writer's journals titled "I Wonder...", I realized that I must not wonder about anything either! Nothing at all!!! Am I too busy to be curious anymore? Is this a normal, adult problem? Do the kids have this much trouble? Or are they still innocent enough and open enough to wonder?

And then it hit me... those are wonderings! Maybe not great ones, but they count, right?!?! I quickly realized that I mainly wonder about my job, teaching! (I'm not sure if that's bad or good, but it is what it is!)

I'm already seeing this workshop as a way for me to understand what we put our students through every time we ask them to write. This may not help me be a better writer, but I'm already becoming more empathetic!!!

**Disclaimer: I started writing this yesterday, Monday, July 6th, but finished and published it on the 7th!**