Slice of Life Challenge
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"I don't know what to write." Those seem to be the only words floating in my head right now. No matter how hard I try, all I can think is, "I don't know what to write."
It strikes me as an important struggle that I need to remember. Posting my slice on the Two Writing Teachers is a blogging highlight of my week, so I rarely miss it. Tuesday is my deadline. Sometimes I write the post before Tuesday morning, but often I wake up and write it right away.
Today...nothing. I feel angry and frustrated, helpless and stupid. I want to force something and nothing is coming. ARRGGHH!
Why am I staying here in this place and writing about it? Because of my students. I can't tell you how many times I hear these same words from my students. And it makes me wonder...do I give them enough time & space to create? Do I really listen to what they're saying? Do I treat them like they are trying to get out of doing work? There have been moments when I have been guilty of being impatient and insisting they begin writing. Sigh...that certainly wouldn't help me right now.
I'm writing. That's good. I'm working something out, but I'm not writing about what I should be writing. That feels wrong. It feels bad...like I'm failing. In the logical part of my brain, I know that writing, any kind of writing, is better than not writing. Is this how my students feel when they struggle with a writing assignment? How can I help them? I need to find a better way to handle this with my students.
What do I need?
More encouraging. More space. Forgiveness...or maybe acceptance. More time. And the courage or guidance to return to my writing. These are the things I need to give to my students and share with them and model for them. Writing is hard, but I won't quit...and neither should they.
THIS moment will make me a better teacher of writers. This is why we, as teachers, need to live the life of a writer and a reader when we are crafting writers and readers in our classrooms. I understand better. I get it. I can tell them the story of this morning when I had nothing to write and I wrote anyway...not the thing I wanted to write, but I wrote. I leave you with the wise words of Ray Bradbury...