It's March! That means that I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I am happy to co-host this event with the team at Two Writing Teachers. Everyone is welcome!
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Slice of Life 2021- 27 of 31: Yesterday, I missed those kids.
Yesterday, I streamed into a fourth-grade classroom to teach a lesson about the importance of free-writing. I had it set up in a way I was pretty sure would work: a slide presentation with a clear teaching point and learning target, a set up prompts to push thinking, a list of what makes good free-writing, and a video of me doing some free-writing that I could voice-over, showing the students in semi-real time how I used the prompts, asked questions and answered them, crossed off and kept going, tried to say things in different ways... I had such great visions for this lesson.
Yesterday, at the designated time, the teacher and I logged in, and I delivered my lesson. If someone was watching and evaluating, I probably would have gotten high marks, both for demonstrating the structure of a minilesson and coaching a teacher.
But it still felt so off.
Free-writing, in my mind, is pen to paper, and not fingers on keyboards.
Yesterday, I wanted to see what students were writing in real time, over their shoulder-- and I couldn't. I wanted to touch students, lean in, connect, and relate-- and I couldn't. I wanted to see their faces as they discovered a new idea, hear their reactions when they realized writing could lead them somewhere they weren't planning-- and I couldn't.
Mostly, I've dealt with this whole distance-learning thing. I've related to kids through screens, figured out systems and structures to manage access and independence, discovered ways to bring laughter and meaning into on-line interactions. And it's not the same.
Yesterday, I missed those kids.