Time for words. When I look forward to spring break and summer vacation I’m excited to have time for experiences. But part of my life that fills up my tank is time to read and write. Each day this month has been a challenge to come up with words when my experience of my daily teaching life seems a bit monotonous. However, living into a writing life challenges me to live this even in my classroom with a predictable schedule and pacing guides to follow. My interactions with staff members feel more precious. The content I read written by my students more dear. Yesterday, some of my students needed longer than others to finish a math test. Lately, I have been encouraging them to write as a choice since our reading program implementation takes so much of our day. Letters have recently been popular. For some reason, the confidence and power of communication through print is spreading like wildfire in my room. So yesterday one of my most compassionate students began sending notes back and forth with two of my most challenging students (also very hesitant writers). The result was heart warming. Looking over one’s shoulder I could see the words “You have the best handwriting” written in her first grade hand. These compliments started multiplying in other notes. I recieved my own thank you note from my most challenging kiddo.
Dear Mrs. Parker,
Thank you for being my teacher. You are the fairest teacher ever. I am glad to be your student.
This this little gem of a note will be transferred from the random pile on my desk into the special archive of teaching memories I treasure. Even though there are still hours I will dedicate to these beginning readers and writers before I get to have those precious hours to myself, the power of time I give to my students to engage in their own reading and writing tasks will fuel their passion for it.