A Lesson in “Knowing!”

I’ve discovered that reading a lot of different blogs and online journals is not the same as writing your own. Not the same in the least! When I first came up with this plan a part of me envisioned all the wonderful ideas I have floating around in my head just coming out as I sat at the keyboard. My fingers would do that little magic dance they do and words would form into sentences and sentences into great ideas and I’d be able to share those ideas with like-minded teachers and administrators like myself and we’d collaborate in some mysterious bond in this online world in the blogosphere out there in cyberspace.

But…… I’ve been sitting here for almost an hour now writing and deleting, writing and editing and doing more deleting. I’ve had 2 cans of Diet Coke (which I know is not good for me – someone told me once about the aspartame in it and how it causes bladder cancer in rats , but I digress – maybe the next entry can be about my drinking habits)

So what WAS the real reason I wanted to do this again – this writing – this blogging project? Guess it’s not as easy as I thought. Ah, stupid idea now that I’m actually here having to write something. Why am I dry? Why won’t the words come? Why isn’t there one simple idea sitting there waiting to be explored?

And then it hit me like a brick – and I saw myself like so very many of the kids I’d taught over the years who sat quietly, pencil in hand, hunched over a piece of paper on their desk, doodling strange pictures in the margins of the paper – not knowing what to write, dry, writer’s block, barren, lost, dead in the water, nothing important to say, empty!

I then couldn’t help but think about all the incredible teachers I work with now and how well they are able to motivate even the most reluctant writers to produce some good pieces of writing.  I’ve seen the writing posted on their bulletin boards, in our halls and some, even on a teacher’s website or blog.

I know instinctively that writing is a process – I remember that from my own high school and university days – and then from all the years I spent in the classroom.  Yes there is a process, but there is also that end product, that piece that is finally done and ready to have an audience. How do we get kids from that initial start-up point, through the process and then to that proud final edit moment when we “publish” and the piece is done?

Well, I feel better! I’m now into my first cup of green tea (to ward off the evil affects of the aspartame, I’m sure) but I have my plan. Over the next few blogs let’s talk about how we motivate kids to write! What ideas work? Which ones don’t?  Is there a tried and true method? We want to produce good communicators; kids who can put their ideas down on paper (or an online journal, blog or website) and communicate effectively. How do we as teachers do that? How do you do that?

Let me know!

Come write with me!

Sue ….