Sometimes, as educators, we have moment-by-moment choices swirling around us. Writing, as you know, is one such choice we make daily in our classrooms. Often we shrug our shoulders, push it aside, or tell ourselves we will do it later. "I will do it tomorrow, maybe next week, or next month."
However, we need to ask ourselves, "Can it really wait? Shouldn't I be the one to pick up the ball and get it rolling. If not me, then who???"
I'm remind of an event which occurred this past year; one of my students burst out, "Where does the time go? I just need five more minutes to finish this piece. I've got to get this done today!"
I was reminded that time waits for no one and, even worse, can not be recovered once it has fluttered away.
Reflecting on these ideas, I recall another morning. As students received their essays, we analyzed word choice and voice. Sadly we discovered that we were not really completed and their writing needed revision to create sharper, more articulate mental pictures. It was an insightful, learning moment to reflect.
True learning, we concluded, comes abut through revisiting, critiquing, and understanding what needs to be changed to make the piece more powerful for the audience.
Additionally, I realized that if I had not taken the time to model accuracy and proficiency, the students will accept mediocrity as an acceptable standard. They will push forward in writing(or maybe choose to avoid) and continue to their practice mistakes as permanent part of their writing.
Group time is a time to focus on weak areas which needed revision and enhancement. Following this step, we return to the grindstone to polish once again.
As a result, in my classroom we celebrate areas of strength and compliment successful writing. (This happens right after lunch) The result is stronger, clearer, and concise writing and students who are passionate about writing in an articulate colorful way.
Even an old dog can learn new tricks if we are willing to learn from the children!
As a teacher or home school parent, often you may experience a feeling of fatigue. You ask yourself, "Can I really do this much longer? Will my rope hold? I feel like I am drowning!"
Here are a few great tips to assist you in the battle with burn out:
1. Model Expectations. If you want students to be successful readers, writers, and mathematicians, show them what that looks like. Avoid poor models, demonstrating properly written books and pieces. You will see a drastic rise in success. When they are clear about the target, hitting it will become much less difficult!
2. Always be open to new ideas. Sometimes our ideas just need a sot in the arm or a new perspective. Remember, there are many successful ideas floating around out there. Don't be afraid to try them and see if they work for you.
3. Don't get stuck in a rut. Sometime you just need to switch things up. Just because things worked with one class, one group, or one child does not mean it will always work with others. Sometimes a new angle is more effective. Everyone is engineered different. Seek to find modalities that reach each student or child most effectively.
4. Celebrate Success. When your children succeed, make sure to give positive feedback and words of encouragement. This will challenge them to continue working hard to achieve success!
5. Take "mini" breaks to smell the flowers. Literally, allow yourself to take brain breaks now and again. Choose another passion you enjoy for a moment. After a break, you are refreshed and come back with a clearer focus.
6. Google it. Whatever you may need, it's out there. Search, google, and use the resources that best fit your budget! The possibilities and discoveries are limitless!!!
7. Be passionate. Invest with your whole heart and let your joy radiate. Look for the good in the world around and celebrate successes with your students, even if they appear to be small.
8. Take your vitamins, eat healthy, exercise, and get a good nights rest. Look for foods that are healthy, eat less processed foods, and sleep.
Prepping for the year is essential for writing success.