Writing is hard work.
But I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I?
One of the things I wanted to do this summer was write some stories that I could share with my 5th graders. Funny school themed stories that capture the lives up upper elementary students.
I want my students to see me 'walk the walk', but I also want them to know that I know how difficult writing can be because I've been there.
I go back to school in three weeks and I still don't have even one story to share with them. I've tried writing. A lot. While I feel like I may actually be on the verge of a story breakthrough, I've learned quite a bit along the way that I will take back to my classroom:
* Writing IS hard, especially when that little voice is telling us that we don't have any ideas. We need to learn to tell that voice to be quiet or tell the one that is cheering us along to speak louder.
* Timed writing actually works for getting words out of your head and down on paper. Writing continuously for 10 minutes has brought me some pretty cool ideas that I never would have found if I had just sat and stared at my computer for 10 minutes.
* Sometimes, you just have to get it out. Keeping an idea in your head that you don't write on paper actually blocks your creativity like a dam blocks water. Even if you don't think you'll use it, write it down. You can always edit it out later.
* Imperfect is okay. I am a natural born perfectionist and I want my writing pages to look just a certain way. This summer, I have worked on being okay with scribbled out words, messy margins, and bad handwriting.
I truly feel that when we allow our students the freedom of choice in our classroom, they take writing more seriously, show more growth, and take more risks in the writing. However, choice can be messy. My writing this summer has shown me that.
So even though my writing has been challenging this summer, I'm still glad that I am a teacher who writes. I will return to the classroom a better writing teacher because of it.