Tuesday, February 5, 2008

For One Moment

My usual routine during Writer's Workshop is to draw 3-4 students back to my kidney shaped table and have them write for a while. As they write I confer with them about their pieces and take notes and try to help them individually as writers. "Fix the writer not the writing!" -Carl Anderson. Well, today I was doing the usual when I noticed that one of my students at the table was busy. I didn't feel like I should interupt her process and so I just conferred with the others. I waited and then she revealed her piece.
With tears streaming down her cheeks she read a piece about being adopted, and seeing her birth mother for the first time. I asked her questions about her feelings, I asked her why she wrote certain words, and I asked her what provoked the tears. She said, "I just feel them." I nodded my approving nod. We discussed why she chose now to write this piece as that moment was months ago. "It felt right to do it now," she answered. I didn't fix her as a writer today, I let this workshop be exactly what she needed it to be, an opening to her heart. As she fell into my arms this strong, unwavering little girl needed to know that getting that out did not need fixing. My fixing came in the knowledge that writer's write mainly for themselves, especially when they have emotions that they don't know how to handle.
I wish that I could find the words to console her and her many questions about why she was adopted. Ultimately her writing and her freedom of choice is consoling her, allowing her to feel on the outside the storm that is occuring on the inside.
I was amazed as I reflect now at the moment that all of this occured. I now can see the world's brake being pressed. I know that today was the day that I needed to really be open and welcoming. I am forever grateful to have the opportunity to work with these children. To see them grow and change and conquer their world as readers and writers. I am also grateful that the groundwork for community has been laid and we rest firmly within its sanctuary daily.
Today, I had a moment, I am part of a community.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Community is what it's all about! I love it that she felt safe enough to write about this in your room! That speaks volumes about you and the atmosphere you've created. Thanks for sharing.

Susan