March #SOL15 Day 26
Two children. Both in sixth grade.
One young man. Quiet. Difficulty speaking up. His speech is not easy to understand. “He never talks”, they say.
One young lady. Quiet in a different way. An old soul. Articulate. Serious. “She’s new”, they say.
Both have found their voice through writing. Neither afraid to tell the class about their feelings that are deep down inside. Neither hesitant to share personal, sometimes intimate thoughts and experiences.
A classroom full of students who are listening. Reacting. Questioning. Supporting.
After these two students finish, the room is a buzz with other students sharing their writing with partners.
One student says to me and two other boys, “I have one story here in my notebook” as he points to his pad, “and another that’s still in my mind” as he points to his head. His eyes are sparkling. He can’t wait to read and then tell.
Another boy from the group has a random stack of papers. He’s misplaced his notebook, but he has not lost his writing. “I’ve got it – hold on!” he says. There. He finds the piece he wants to read. I watch him. He is African American. About 5’9. A “cool” kid by many kids’ standards. Reading his writing to me and two other African American boys. I feel I am in the presence of something very important that is happening here.
I finally leave the classroom (only because it’s time for gym – otherwise I would have stayed until the end of the day!) and I’m thinking….this writing thing….this tool we are giving our kids to express themselves….this is powerful. It is life changing.