Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers
It’s mostly quiet in our writing workshop this morning. Except for…
…the occasional giggles, the sighs, the laugh out loud moments, and the thoughtful “hmms”.
My students are listening in, hearing the voices of their grandparents, parents, aunts or uncles, the subjects of their Great Thanksgiving Listen of 2016. Some listen to what they have recorded on their phones over the Thanksgiving Break, and some have their ear buds in. So, we can also hear the low buzz of Grandpa Joe and Great Aunt Louise reminiscing, pausing to guffaw here or blow their noses there.
I move around our classroom and through the hallway where they have spread themselves out in order to work in comfort, and to listen. I watch their faces closely, and am moved by the way my kiddos are moved by their family stories, by these voices taking them down paths of distant memory. Stories move us, and teach us, and connect us. We need to make time to hear them, we need to listen in.
When my students first returned to school, this is what they said:
“I never knew…”
“I learned that…”
“It was amazing to hear…”
“I was so glad that I asked…”
Today, they are listening again, writing down what they most want to remember, and thereby writing these family stories, most of them unknown, into their memories and their hearts. This is how we come to know who we are and what our place in the world is:
“My grandmother brought a box of tissues to our listen in, and boy did we need them…”
“I had never really talked to my Uncle Al before, but this Thanksgiving I made a point to ask him all the questions I’d secretly always wanted to ask…”
“I thought my Maryland grandpa was so boring, but then I starting asking him questions and found out that he had done so many amazing things in his life…”
It is mostly quiet in our writing workshop this morning…we are listening in.