Monday, October 15, 2007

Is it possible?

Last year at Christmas I decided to start walking, three miles, nightly. I have kept up this promise, while not every single night, it has been a consistent amount of walking. During tax season my husband surprised me by purchasing a elliptical trainer so that I wouldn't have to walk during those cold Indiana nights. I have not seen huge results with my body, in fact recently I have begun to doubt myself, to question why, and to seek other options. But still... I walk. I got to thinking during my walk this evening that I haven't been at this a whole year, what if it takes two years, what if I see results soon? I am healthier because of my walking, my dog thanks me, my heart thanks me, and my energy levels thank me. I am better because I am keeping at the challenge. I am learning how to endure, even when I feel like I've failed...



My pumpkins today reminded me of this story about myself. They have not been at this business of reading and writing for years, really some of them have just learned some of their letters. Today as I read aloud Fancy Nancy and we pondered the WOW words in that book I asked this question, "did the text tell you or did you infer that information?" At first, it was like I had just spoken in a different language, but then, one by one the light bulbs clicked on for them. When we discussed stretching the most important part during our writing time, I again realized, these kids have just begun the work of writers, look where they have come from! One student reminded me, "don't forget to use fancy words when you are writing!" So, why have they been doing so well?

I guess that I haven't said to them, "It's not possible, it can't be done." So many times as educators we say those words, or we hear them. Really, this is just a way for a teacher to say, "I can't, I don't know how, or they aren't worth it."

What about our readers and writers? How many of them have been at this for a year, or more? How many of them don't feel they are improving? How many of them don't see the benefits of their constant practice?

4 comments:

Jen Barney said...

I often wonder how I can recreate myself in a healthier person... I want to do this, but it is hard.

The reading thing is always on my mind with my kiddos... I have so many treasures that I know think that. How can we turn this around!

Amy said...

Hooray for you and your walking! You've inspired me. I keep telling myself I need to do that, but it hasn't happened. I need to make it happen. Stick with it, sister! I'm going to try to get out there and get going too!

katied said...

We have just started noticing words that we want to experiment with in our writing. I can't wait to read Fancy Nancy!

LiteracyTeacher said...

Today I saw one of my biggest strugglers writing in paragraphs. I was floored. I made so much out of it. He smiled. Did he believe that he really accomplished a lot? I did...

Thanks for the fluency advice too!