Monday, November 4, 2013

Writing is Hard

Today we started the first of three district writing assessments. It was painful. The same kids who pour out pages of stories in their journals cry, stomp and flat out refuse to write when required to do so. Why is that? I think it is because writing is such a personal endeavor that even kids know it's no fun to put something out there with the sole purpose of being judged proficient or not.

It is ironic to me that the rules that we work so hard to drill into students' heads, go out the window when one becomes a successful writer. I spend weeks each year teaching my students not to start sentences with "and" or "because", yet their choice library books have counteless examples of such rules being disregarded. We practice over and over writing complete sentences, only to read fragments and run on sentences on websites, in brochures and again, in chapter books. "Artistic liberty" I tell them as I explain that once you know and understand the rules that you may choose to break them. They look confused as I become one of those adults that I didn't trust when I was their age. Do as I teach, not as I do. Oh, if they were ever to read this blog, what would they think of my careless disregard for the hard and fast rules of my middle school language arts teacher? What was her name anyway?

I fear writing is becoming a lost art form. I miss the days when letters were written and received. Even my presence here in post form is becoming few and far between. Posts get pushed to the side as I respond to texts and e-mails and close the computer before pounding out the thoughts in my head onto my keyboard. I should try to get back to writing more. I love to do it. I only hope that some of my students can overcome their insecurity and put themselves out there. Not for me to judge, but to be heard, for through the writing process, some of the best insights are found.

Write on friends, write on.

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