Saturday, March 3, 2018

Belief and bravery

Day 3 of 31 at TWT!
"Mrs. M, can you come read this?" H. is staring at a draft on his Chromebook.

"Sure, what's up? Is there a certain part you'd like me to look at?"

"Um..." He hesitantly waves his hand across the whole screen. "I just want you to see if it's ok to post..."

"What?! H?!" I grin incredulously. "Why?! I'm sure it's fine! You're an awesome writer!"

"Well, it's just different than most other things I've written, and I don't know... Maybe it's confusing or something..." His voice trails off.

I peek over his shoulder to scan the first few lines, smiling at the flow of his usual strong, creative voice. Imperfect grammar, as is often the case, but not to the point of distraction or interference with meaning. "You're a good writer. Go ahead and publish it!" I nudge his elbow with mine and circulate back to another part of the room.

Later, as we're transitioning to the next activity, I notice that his Chromebook is still open, with that draft still sitting there. "H! You still didn't publish that? Push that button!"

"I, um..."

His squad leader D. leans across the table, smoothing her hijab. "What's going on?"

"H. is having trouble convincing himself to publish his post."

"You're such a good writer!" she exclaims, eyes lighting up. "Before I knew you [we've only been in these squad groups this semester], when Mrs. M would have us leave comments, I'd always look for your posts first! I don't know why, I mean..." She takes a deep breath, as if momentarily realizing that this is not the kind of thing most high schoolers say to each other, but then plunges ahead. "Your writing is really fun to read!"

He shifts in his seat, then reaches toward his Chromebook. "Really?"

"See?!" I grin at him, then turn to D. with an overflowing heart. I can't believe she just said that! I love these kids, and I love what blogging does for our classroom community. "Thank you for those kind words, D. That was really nice of you."

I open my stance to address the whole class. "You guys don't need me to tell you that your writing is ok. Be brave! Put it out there!" But then I fix my eyes back on H. "But sometimes I'm scared to hit that publish button, too! I still have days that I have to sit and stare at the screen for awhile, take some deep breaths, and talk myself into pushing that button! It's a big deal, sharing your words with the world! But it's also really awesome."


  1. You have such passion for writing and for your students. I think they are very lucky to have you.

  2. I enjoyed your use of dialogue to move through this slice. Keep encouraging H and D to be brave! It's so great that you provided them with this opportunity!

  3. Comments make a difference, whether they are recorded on the blog or straight from a person's mouth. Sending words out and away is scary, for every one.


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