Celebration of Beginnings, Fits-and-Starts, and The Now

celebrate link up

Every Saturday Ruth Ayers hosts bloggers who look back on their week with an eye for moments to celebrate. It is a wonderful way to honor, to notice and celebrate all the good things that happen. Click here and find out how you can start this practice.

BEGINNINGS —
Several of my colleagues joined me to learn about blogs. I was so excited to introduce them to some of my favorite blogs. They walked away with a little more knowledge and a list of blog sites. Hopefully they will lurk a bit and maybe even comment. Who knows there might be a future blogger among them. I celebrate my colleagues who are looking for more to bring into their lives and to the lives of their students. Next, twitter chats!

Student-led conferences are beginning. This is a new type of conference for my teaching partner and me.  We’ve done only two, but both have revealed a lot about these students and what they need. Bottom line, communication with students is so much deeper when the student takes the lead. Our hunches are clarified and parents seem pleased with the dialogue.  One wants me to help him learn to talk in groups. Another expressed her love of story telling but fear of memoir. Little did she know they are really the same thing. I celebrate the first two and look forward to next week’s full schedule.

FITS AND STARTS —  
My reluctant writers seem less reluctant.  Some of my students are paralyzed writers. They feel they don’t know how or where to start. They are worried: are they doing the “right” thing? Conference after conference, I slowly chip away at their resistance and uncertainty.  I sit next to each writer and talk with them about their process, their worries as writers, and slowly they start to move the pen. We find little bits of possibility. We talk about those little bits and slowly, the little bits become classroom mid-workshop interruptions that highlight this writer’s process of fighting writer’s block. For this day, they are a star. I won’t be surprised if tomorrow’s a struggle, but the struggle might be lessened by the memory this week’s success.

My daughter’s re-found love of writing. As a preschooler she had writerly ways. She had voice. She was always writing. I just knew she would flourish in the writer’s workshop environment at her elementary school. Sadly it didn’t happen the way I envisioned. Her passion for writing disappeared.

Now a sophomore in high school, she has found her writerly self in argument writing.  That confident writer I saw as a four-year old is back. What started as an assignment in class is slowly creeping into her life outside of school. Our evening at the Beacon House Bistro (a recovery program for alcoholics) has inspired her to write a speech about the program for her youth group. I am so excited for her. She knows she’s good at writing and wants more. 

THE NOW —
My dad is home from the hospital. It’s a scary thing to go into the hospital at 93. He has been there before, but this time seemed different. A call from my mom at 1:00 am Wednesday morning was the first big difference. That drive to the hospital was horrific, all the time thinking of what could be. When the nurse said he was fine, I broke down completely. You know the possibility, but not now. Now can be too much to bear.  Now he is home. I celebrate the now.

24 thoughts on “Celebration of Beginnings, Fits-and-Starts, and The Now

  1. Julianne,
    Thoughts and prayers for your father. It is easy to forget that the down side of aging parents is that they are aging and issues arise.

    Love your Nerdlution and the way that you have made it possible for you to achieve small successes. Some days that is truly the way we are hanging on by just a fingernail!

    And for your students, remember to help them value writing partners. Regular conversations with someone else can keep writers from getting stuck as often and can help you “clone yourself.” It does not replace conferences with you but adds in thoughtful conversational as partners quickly explain their plan for the day to each other and / or reflect at the success of their plan at the end of workshop!

    Enjoy a great February weekend!

    • You are right! Those writing partners are undervalued. Mostly by me! I have to set them up to be needed and valued! Thanks for the insight and helping me with next steps.

  2. Your celebrations hold much feelings. Hope runs through each of them. The teachers will learn, the writers will grow, your daughter will keep writing, and your dad will stay at home. Happy 1st of February!

  3. Changes bring celebrations today. The teaches, your students, your daughter all celebrate changes. I’m glad your dad is back home. It is difficult to live with some of the changes of getting older.

  4. So great that your dad is back home and doing fine. I know exactly what you mean by: You know the possibility, but not now. Now can be too much to bear.
    And how awesome is that about your daughter’s refound love and confidence in writing. That is definitely something to celebrate.

  5. So much excitement in this post! You’ve inspired me to dust off our writing partners and see if we can do a better job this month at planning and sharing. So fun to see that you were able to share the blog love in your building. I’ve shared my blog with a few friends at school, but would love to see someone else start blogging. Twitter chats are fun. They move too fast for me to comment, but I love lurking and listening.

    • I am going to work on those partnerships too. As Fran pointed out — students need to see how valuable they are! That is very big. I am hopeful for my staff. If they don’t blog at least they’ll lurk! I hope you are going to be at the Two Writing Teacher chat Monday. That should be fun!

  6. Wow! What a week you’ve had…lots of ups and downs. I especially identified with your reluctant writers. I’ve been writing about mine a few times this week. I’m glad your dad is home. I can’t imagine that scary drive to the hospital. I hope this week is full of many more things to celebrate.

    • I’ve read your posts and I’m right there with you. It is so good to have each other to bounce ideas around with. The point is we don’t forget them and keep working it.

  7. As one of the teachers on the receiving end of your sharing… I celebrate you! Your passion and hunger for community makes a big difference for me, lucky me, thank you! Glad to hear dad is home and well. It is weird to be on the other end of that sentiment, and to feel envious…to still be holding on to him…hold on tight Julieanne!

    • I’m glad it helped AND I’m so glad to see you here. Commenting is the first step to blogging. I do think of you and your dad, believe me. You do know how this goes. It is a journey we have to take. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

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