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!