It’s Life Changing

March #SOL15 Day 26

sol[1]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.

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8 thoughts on “It’s Life Changing

  1. I felt like I was right there with you in the room the way you described what they were saying and doing! This is such a great tool for children. They can be whoever they want and go wherever they please on paper. You’re right, it’s life changing!

  2. Beautiful post! You are so right, by giving our students choice and time to write, we allow them to find their voice and express themselves more freely. That is indeed life changing!

  3. Your writing about writing was wonderful! You expressed it so well – it is life changing. It is a gift to be able to express themselves this way. Good for you for giving these kids this gift!

  4. Very cool slice! My heart was smiling as I was reading it. I love the contrast of the 2 quiet kids at the beginning. The next examples also helped bring the story to life. So amazing what writing has done for all of these kids …. Opens the doors! Kudos to that teacher and all those the kids have had before! Also – thanks for making it a district priority!

  5. I can’t help but relate your message to what we’re doing with this challenge. It is powerful and life changing for us. I see kids writing in a different light now. I learn so much from reading the slices and the comments. And I think I appreciate what our kids are able to do even more now because I’m participating.

  6. You described those kids perfectly. They opened up in a way that made my heart smile! One student shared their “I Believe” piece today too. I wonder where that inspiration came from 🙂 Thanks for making that memory in my class they will never forget!

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