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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Writer's Workshop Gone Awry

To read more stories that matter, head to Two Writing Teachers and dive in!

I admit it.  It's been a while since I made myself sit down and write.  I've missed it but I've had a lot on my plate and writing was pushed aside.  And then today happened and I knew I needed to write.

Today was one of THOSE days at school.  It started out alright.  By 9:05 I started to think it was getting off track.  By 10:00 I knew I needed to reign my class in a bit more.  By lunchtime, I was tired.  

Next came writer's workshop.  I look forward to this time each day.  I look forward to seeing my students talk, draw and write.  They have so many wonderful stories to share and they are getting so much better at getting those stories onto the paper.

Not today.

Today I should have stopped after "talking time."  It was at that moment that I knew things were going downhill.

Did I stop?


Of course not.  It was time for WRITING!
I should have stopped.

I should have stopped before I was disappointed in their lack of concentration.  I should have stopped before I was frustrated that there was so much chatting and goofing around happening all around me.  I should have stopped the moment I realized that unless I was sitting next to the child, the child wasn't writing.

Unless I was sitting next to the child, the child wasn't drawing and most likely wasn't even LOOKING at the paper on the table.

I should have just stopped.  They weren't in a good place, and therefore, neither was I.

Then there was that little glimmer.

At the end of the day, I sat with my little munchkin, R.  We were filling out his daily behavior note to let his parents know how his day went.  It was only then that I realized that he had earned a star for EVERY SINGLE PART OF THE DAY TODAY!!!  FIRST TIME EVER!!!

Ok.  If R can have an all-star day, then we can get it back together.  We can get back on track.  Tomorrow is a new day, as they say, and we will begin again with a fresh start.  Somehow, in the meantime, I need to convince my students of something very important: 

You have stories to tell.  Your stories are important.  Your stories matter.  Share your stories.

 The picture above, from the Kelly Rae Roberts Collection, was a gift from a good friend.  Someone who knows that our words and stories are important.  It's the perfect inspiration.  A treasure...both the friend and the picture.  (Thanks B-Fly!)



  1. I love the picture from your friend, Robin. Oh my, those days do happen. Now, it's when I have meetings with teachers & one cancels, while the other two have little to say in a conversation & I feel I'm doing everything wrong-arrgh! One of those when I should have stopped (I really get your point!) Nice to see that you had some nice news at the other end.

  2. I have this same picture in my classroom! I loved your repeated words I should have stopped and then that wonderful burst of optimism at the end. Perfect end to a difficult day!

  3. It is always those moments of joy that propel us out of that discouragement that can come with teaching. I'm so glad that R had a day worth celebrating :)