Passion is what I’m thinking now as I look over my student’s first attempt at personal narratives. We’ve begun a Lucy Calkins-style writer’s workshop in class, and it always makes me excited. Every year, I have loved it when I’ve taught a writing workshop to the kids, and I always say, “why don’t I do this more often?’
Well, it’s the beginning of the year now, and I started right away. After going through our 5th grade Exhibition last year all about our passions, I’m revisiting my own passions. Writing is one of my passions and storytelling. I’ve passed it along to my daughter, which has been fantastic, but I haven’t lived enough as a writer lately. Teaching the kids to be writers is helping me to live as a writer as I model for them and write my own stories.
I’ve realized that what allows teachers to be good teachers is to teach from their passion. Teaching itself is a passion. However, there is something that drives all of us, I believe. I love writing and thinking, and I think my students can tell. So, we’re writing workshopping all year. When I said we were doing writing workshop the other day, I heard a chorus of “Yeahs!” I walked into my teaching partners room, and he was doing hands-on, investigative math with the kids (his passion). His students were engaged and excited. He told me they love math. Of course they do. He’s excited about it, and that energy flows from teacher to student.
My daughter’s teacher is into surfing. We’ll see how that plays out in the classroom! Tomorrow, on Monday, I plan to take my kids to the roof to do yoga. I’ve told them that’s another passion of mine, so we’re all going to do it. They’re excited by it. I love teaching in a school where I have the freedom to teach in a style that makes sense for me.
I think all teachers should have the opportunity to teach in a way that lets them shine. I know it’s not the case in a lot of schools as administrators and the public try to fix what’s wrong with education. It makes me sad. There’s nothing wrong with teachers nor kids. But there is something wrong with stuffing everyone in a little box and forcing them to produce according to standards. More on this subject later. Back to looking at some fantastic writing starts…