|at Two Writing Teachers!|
Sometimes, they reveal a personal crisis, open my eyes to hard truths, or give me a glimpse of life in their shoes. They want to know me and they share their own journeys. They explore big ideas and ask tough questions. Often, they just want to know: "Do you like kids like us?" Every once in a while, they even reach out directly for what they really need: love.
Twice a week, my beginner ELLs write to me on a dialogue calendar. (I stole this idea from a reading teacher at one of the middle schools I used to teach at!) They can tell me (and ask me) anything they want, and I respond and ask them questions. It's basically an ongoing conversation on paper.
|They practice their writing and reading, and we get to know each other better!|
"Are you going to hug me on my birthday? I'm asking because I'm going to be lonely that day. :/ My family is going to be working the whole day and I'll only have the affection of my friends. :-("
I could feel tears springing up in the corners of my eyes. Her family is loving and supportive, but I know they all work really hard just to survive. So I wrote to her that I always have a hug ready whenever she needs one, but I also wrote that I know her family is working so hard because they want a better life for her.
How do you measure that?
Measurements of the heart are the most difficult, but it seems that you and your student have surpassed the proficient level. Give her an extra hug from your blogging buddies.ReplyDelete
I think you measure it in your heart, Jennifer. Your dialogue calendars are such a good idea. My students had what we called letter journals & they wrote to me 3 times a week. I sat after school those days & wrote back. Not only did they have practice writing, but they too got to say anything they wished. Sometimes we argued! The journals stayed in a basket in the classroom & were very private. I don't think anyone ever broke that privacy to peek at someone else's thoughts. You are wonderful to give your students a way to confidentially talk with you. And no, we can't measure the data.ReplyDelete
The most important things can never have a number attached.ReplyDelete
This is such a powerful reminder of the need to take time to listen. It warms my heart that this student had you to reach out to. It speaks volumes about the connections you build through your teaching.ReplyDelete