Doing the Hard Work

I stood at the “Meet the Staff” board in the hallway and perused the friendly pictures. What did I notice? Individual snapshots of the staff members standing by a brick background with tall green shrubs and welcoming smiles. Next to their picture was a self portrait, and below their picture was their name, title, and three words that describe them. All arranged neatly on a black background. It was very visually appealing.

But what caught my attention was a grey paper with hand drawn student faces and a bold “Meet Staff” on the side. The paper went on to ask Who am I? and described the process by which teachers created their displays. And then these words that resonated with me:

We ask children to sometimes do difficult things so we wanted to show that we too do things that feel vulnerable and are hard because there is value in the challenge.

This reminded me of writing. We need students to see that we do the difficult work right along side them. That we understand when they can’t think of what to write about, or feel their writing is not good, or struggle to focus. Through our practice as teacher writers, we can encourage, share strategies, and build a community where everyone is doing the hard work.

7 thoughts on “Doing the Hard Work

  1. You are absolutely right! Writing alongside your students is eye-opening for them, and for us. Because writing is hard. And it is rewarding. And you do get better at it with practice! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes…that was my goal when I took on this challenge. Today is a hard day to get writing. It does make me understand how difficult the writing can be for students. I chose to do this writing challenge…students don’t choose to writing…they have to write.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is exactly why I wrote along with my students. I felt it was important that they saw that I wasn’t just telling them what to do but that I was doing it alongside them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And that is why we write! I had my high ability students try something new this week. Most of the time I do the assignments with them, but I haven’t with this one. This makes me feel uneasy because I haven’t written it. And it makes me wonder why teachers don’t do this??

    Liked by 1 person

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