It’s DigiLitSunday. Margaret Simon asks us to “reflect on Patience. Practice. Persistence” at Reflections on the Teche today.
Every Friday, we spend some of our writing workshop time listening to short podcasts that connect us to stories from far and wide as part of our “writing to think” work. Our mission is to open ourselves to issues and experiences that may sometimes fall outside the realm of our own, and to ask ourselves “what if that were me? what if that was my experience? my life?”.
This Friday, I felt pressed for time. My kids were finishing up the first drafts of their personal narratives, and there was a long list of students who needed writing conferences before the weekend, when they were tasked to type up those first drafts so we could begin revision on Monday.
We also had a read aloud to finish up and a new Social Studies unit to begin. There is never enough time…I always feel as though I do battle with the school clock which seems to measure time too quickly.
Even so, I opened the Story Corps podcast I had chosen for us to listen to, and affixed our anchor chart to the board as a writing reference point:
My kiddos began streaming in at 7:30. They went about the business of organizing themselves for the day, as they always do. Many glanced at the board, saw the chart and said, “Oh, good – were doing this today. I love these!”.
So we made time to listen after all. My kids, it seemed, felt there was value and purpose in these Friday writing to think endeavors.
We heard Alex’s story…we wrote…and we shared. My sixth graders asked important questions, and they wondered about how they could change the world if they were in charge. Some day, they will be.
I was glad, then, that we had taken the time to listen with our hearts, and prepare our minds for the work ahead that some day and in our every day, really. Patience. Practice. Persistence. Making a better world takes all three. And I celebrate my kids for their willingness to engage, right now, to write and think their way to that better world.