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5 minute pieces. 15 minute pieces. 30 minute pieces. 6 week pieces.  Literary Genres. Memoirs, Informative. Opinion. Biographies. Social Commentary. Checking off- Check check check… down the list…

“I’ve never written so much in my life as I have in 6th grade, Ms. Kitchen,” Gabby reveals to me one morning while I took attendance and she sifts through a folder. I smiled, secretly honored.

I’m sitting here in the lab with my 23 students. Quiet, with the exception of a string version of, “Bullet Proof,” by David Guetta playing through my lap top. Lights low. I hear the tapping of the keys. All year long, we’ve been exercising and flexing our writing muscles.

What do I want for them? What do I want for them… whatdoIwantforthem… Hm.  I want to hear them. I want to feel the shake of their writing voices resound with bellowing echoes. I want for them to not be afraid to speak their minds. I don’t want them just to think outside the box, I want them to shatter the very notion of the box with the novelty of their ideas. Kicking it in. Burning it up. Restricting ideologies and the confines of self-doubt burnt up in a smoldering swirl as words pitter patter on the keyboard.  

I wish for them to feel the power of moving ideas, shifting and stretching, transported uniquely through the lyrical vehicles of verse. I want them to feel it in their gut. In their hearts. Lighting up their minds with radical concepts and mind bending notions that inspire them to leap from the safe harbors of the objectively discreet. Pouring through their fingertips. The pitter pattering on the keyboard. I hear it. Who knows? Maybe I’m only clearing the run way for their flight to take off in years to come. I’m still honored to be holding the broom.

I haven’t counted how many pieces we’ve done collectively over the year. A lot. I’ll continue to check check check down the lists of goals and objectives. It’s fun. It’s not a chore. But more than that…

The most important thing to me is that these “pieces,” assist in the construction of the colorful mosaic puzzle that is each of them. For each piece to help illuminate the masterpiece that is their own identity. That is my hope.

That’s my main goal. 30 minute writing piece. Check! Done. 

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7 replies

  1. I had to read your slice more than once – I loved the way you described what you want for your students. I feel your commitment to growing them as writers!

  2. OK – where do I begin? The mosaic puzzle that makes up each one of your students. The masterpiece that makes up their identities. I wish I could shout this from the rooftops! If I did…’d have every parent in the school beating down your door demanding that YOU be their child’s teacher! I am so glad you were honored by Gabby’s comment today. You should be.

  3. I never quite know how to choose my “favorite” part of your pieces, or offer constructive criticism. Your writing is always exquisite from beginning to end. What I loved about today’s piece is the way you expressed what you want for your students. So very powerful!! . If ever I felt inspired by the love and dedication of a teacher toward her students, it was today. Every child should have at least one teacher just like you:-)

  4. “What do I want for them? What do I want for them… whatdoIwantforthem… Hm. I want to hear them” You are a master writer. And Gabby is your little grasshopper out of many little grasshoppers.

  5. You do exactly what you want your students to be able to do. I “hear” you and “feel” your writing voice as I read. Wow! We teach by example. Your writing is the ultimate example.

  6. This is just exquisite. It is exactly what I want from my students- to hear their voices, feel their emotions, and let their writing take them anywhere they want to be! Thank you for this!

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