I’ve had a lot more writing time with my kids, and it’s one of the things I’m proudest of this year.
It’s something kids look forward to, because they get to spend time writing whatever it is they choose. It’s a class session I really look forward to, because I get to be eyeball-deep in my kids’ work. That, and I get to see a bunch of kids all jazzed up about things.
There is, of course, a catch. I review work each week, keeping tabs on how the students are progressing towards their goals and what skills and strategies I think should be in their pipeline.
Most of the time, I can get a pretty clear direction about how help a kid move their writing forward. Perhaps we can work on punctuating dialogue, fleshing out a story, or keeping a balance of narration so a story makes sense.
Yet each week, there are one or two pieces of writing I just can’t get a feel for. For one reason or another, I just can’t think which direction I’d like to push a writer. Usually, it’s either because the writer has demonstrated exceptional skill, or because there are so many areas that need improvement that the whole thing seems overwhelming.
In those cases, I have sometimes just…not done anything with that writing. I’ve not written down any notes for further instruction or improvement. Just let it pass of until our next session, where I can see what develops further.
Until now, I’ve beaten myself up for letting that writing go. I’ve held the mindset that I owe it to my students to give them feedback or something to work on with every turn.
But what if that’s simply not true?
What if a bit of separation and time would make things clearer?
What if I let that piece of writing go one more week to see what develops, and look at it anew? Would I be letting my kids down?
Judging by how that strategy has done so far? Surprisingly, no.
Surprisingly, it feels good to relieve myself of that pressure.
It’s not an every-kid-every-week sort of situation, but it’s nice to know sometimes that a bit of patience pays off from time to time. And payoffs in this time of year? I’ll gladly take what I can get.
Interested in learning more about the March Slice of Life Challenge, or wanting to read more great posts? Head over to the Two Writing Teachers site!