I don’t feel like writing.
I have been thinking about modeling action, writing, reading, working, for my students. What does it mean to model good writing? If I am going to teach writing, I need to be writing. So, here I sit on a blustery, snowy, soon to be rainy winter day, BLAH!…I am not feelin’ it. How many times have I heard my students say that. “Ms. Fullerton, I’m just not in the mood to read or write”. And here I sit. I’m just not in the mood. I want to be curled up on the couch reading my murder mystery novel, a yummy, no effort, totally entertaining book; it’s Patricia Cornwell’s Southern Cross. It’s vacation week!
I have made a commitment to myself to write on my blog weekly; so here I sit, writing anyway.
(I find this comical because I have not shared my blog with many people. I am moving closer to the edge of jumping off into the oblivion of sharing this blog via my profile on Twitter. I do mean the edge of oblivion).
I am not a confident writer, when it comes to the public. One has to develop a sort of lizard skin, or as I like to call it a strong s@#& shield. Let’s face it people judge. My students feel that at some level. The fear of judgement. I cringe when I hear some of the comments they have received on papers. No wonder they resist. How teachers write comments can make all the difference in the world for our students. They are young, and teenagers can be sensitive, not likely to admit it. (Yes, they are in the midst of developing their identities. Albeit this is a lifelong process, and teens are becoming every day). I digress.
Realistically there are other reasons my students do not want to write that paragraph, DIDLS, DED, or essay- they have other priorities. They are busy writing on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and all the other social media apps out there. I often find myself in that cavernous space of harnessing the power of digital media and the knitty-gritty reality of writing. Because, simply, good writing takes time, patience; it takes dwelling in frustration and sometimes pure anger, being in that insecure place of, “I don’t get how to do this; I am not a good writer”. And at other times it can be exhilarating! Writing takes effort, or the new educational buzzword “grit”.
Education should be interesting and yes, fun. However, students still need to understand sometimes, we are not going to like what we are given. This means writing the dreaded five-paragraph essay, the DBQ, the DIDLS, the DED — yes, many still dread writing when they have chosen the topic. I know this sounds like a downer of a post, and it is also a reality in many humanities classroom.
So, here I sit a half-hour later, more “into it”, and I am writing. I will leave it, come back to it, revise it and post it. This is why and how I model action to my students. I need to be willing to do it, even when I do not want to.
Two days later… I’m posting.