Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I am cherishing our writing block this week. It just long enough to write without having your brain shut down. It comes in the morning while I am still somewhat fresh (albeit a bit sore from Boot Camp!). And while writing, I am surrounded by quiet, despite having at least ten Fellows around me.

I shared my "portrait" for the third time today in a peer review. Two of the times I shared my purpose for writing and my intended audience. The third time - I did not. I wanted to see if the piece could stand on its own legs.

It did and so it is soon to be something that is "publishable." Where? I have absolutely no idea but since it was written within my community, for my community it will probably be here.

The revision process has not been easy. I've had to not only look at the words but how I put them on paper. Is the tense correct? Spelling? Did I really mean to say that there - or is it more powerful three paragraphs down? But because I care about the piece - I soldier on each day giving it fresh eyes.

It makes me think about our students and the revision process. Do we give them the chance to write about something they care about, are invested enough in to want to revise? Or - as I suspect may be the case - do they revise because we tell them to?

Janet said it powerfully in our debrief session today. I am sure that I am not capturing her thoughts exactly but the heart of it was as follows:

"I need to let go. I can teach kids how to revise their work but I can't make myself go it."

Have we become so detached as teachers of writing that we have forgotten what the process feels like?

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