Saturday, March 31, 2012

Writing --- a Joyful Experience

I have taught for thirty eight years.  I have writings from my students that date back to 1976.  Why did I keep them?  It is simple those pieces were pieces of the children I worked with, encouraged, and yes, loved.

I shared my writing with my students.  I found it easy to read what I wrote...but if I posted it --- I felt shy and nervous.  Each year, of course, I wrote a welcome letter...doesn't everybody?  But at the end of the year, I wrote them a letter sharing what I hope they received and what I received from them.

Now I am teaching future teachers!  I find that to be a rewarding, challenging, and weighty responsibility.  I wish each student that earns his or her degree and certification will teach well and in caring ways. So at the end of each semester, I write them a letter.  I stand up in front of the class and read it out loud and then hand each one a copy that includes a personal note.  This is what I say:

It is the end of the semester and ahead of you is a well deserved break from the educational grind.  It amazes me how quickly time has flown.  Looking back on this semester and the course, Writing in Education, it seems that we accomplished a great deal.   To be honest, there is a lot more I would like to share with you about writing.  Each of you has an opinion about your personal writing; and I hope that from this class you feel better about your own writing and more committed to helping your students become confident writers.  Each of you will be someone who will impact your students’ feelings about their written expression.  Please encourage, support, and prod them to do their best!!!  Developing individuals who feel at ease with sharing their thoughts in writing is a goal I feel each educator should have.

During my teaching career at the end of the school year, I would write a letter to my students letting them know what I hoped they had gained from being in my classroom.  This letter is my way of sharing what I hope you have gained from this class. I realize the reason you took this class was to work on your portfolio, and I wish you continued success in your endeavor.  I trust that the task of completing a professional portfolio seems attainable even though the work has truly just begun.  I would urge you to review and work on it often.  To me that wasn’t the most important aspect of the class.  Being confident and willing to share your ideas in writing is imperative and I hope each of you has grown in these areas.  I also shared ideas that I hope you can develop and use one day with your class.  It would be wonderful if you have gained a desire to make writing important to your students.  That would make a positive impact on your students.         

I hope, though more than anything, that I expressed to each of you what an important task that you have ahead of you.  You will teach… a career that is of utmost importance.  Enjoy it!!  Motivate your students to inquire and explore the world around them.  Please encourage their writing skills so they can learn more about themselves and that they are able to communicate effectively their ideas to others. 

I love teaching!!  I hope you will too.  Remember work hard, be consistent, laugh often, and embrace the energy of the children you will meet.    

And so I end day 31 of slicing...

Dear Slicers,

Thank you Stacey and Ruth and all fellow slicers for allowing me to share my thoughts and ideas through writing.  I am a better person and teacher for participating in this opportunity.   Thank  you all for the inspiration and desire to write!  Something I have "preached" for thirty-eight years and celebrated in others but didn't always do (except all that writing that was required).  This has been writing for me! 

This isn't goodbye though...I will continue slicing on Tuesdays.  


  1. I look forward reading your writing on Tuesdays! Thank you for your comments during the month!

  2. You captured feelings I have as well in your last paragraph (your letter to slices). Congratulations on your 31 days of slicing. Thank you for encouraging me along the way!

  3. The power comes from doing, not the preaching. You have shared an amazing life with us. Thank you.

  4. What a lovely letter to your teacher students. I hope they realize what a gift writing can be to their classrooms.

  5. Have I already said how lucky those teachers to be are to have you guide them?! And have I already said how lucky I feel to have you to slice with?! Thank you for all the thoughtful comments and posts....I hope we'll continue to visit each other this way.