Monday, March 4, 2019

I wish my students knew...#SOL19

I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers Annual March Slice of Life Story Challenge.  
This year I decided to complete my slice of life challenge through the use of quickwrites.  By doing this, I hope to explore my own writing, identify problems my students may be experiencing with these quick bursts of writing, and show them authentic revisions in the writing process.

Today's quick write is a teacher version of the popular prompt, "I wish my teacher knew..."

In true quick write form according to Kittle and Graves, my process began like this:
  1. Choose a starter.
  2. Write rapidly for ten minutes.
  3. Change nothing.
  4. Lower you standards. (This is hard to do when you are writing publicly!)
  5. Let your own thinking guide you, not the prompt.
Here we go:

I wish my students knew...

that I come from a not-so-perfect childhood. Sometimes I think they believe no one understands them. But I do. 

I had many nights where my parents fought, and I would put the pillow over my head, wishing them to stop.  My parents ended up in a divorce.  I remember vividly the night my mom came to tell me.  I was a sophomore in college.  Many people say that divorce is hard on young children, but I believe differently. When you are older, you know the reason; you understand the consequences. 

I made some bad choices, choices I wish I could change.  Sometimes those choices are the ones we learn the most from. I believe those mistakes have made me a better mother, a better wife, and certainly a better teacher.  

I understand heartache. I understand pain. 

I understand that sometimes things don't go the way we want them to go.

But I also know perseverance and determination. My mom was 40 with two kids in college and two more at home...and divorced. She made it.

I wish my students knew there is always a way out. Stand tall. Stand proud. Work hard. 

This is what I wish my students knew.


  1. I love this twist (and your honesty in this slice). I have had my students write the student version, but never thought about writing the teacher version. Great idea!

  2. I love this so much! The honesty and bravery it must have taken to write this. And you're right- as adults there is so much we can't share with our students about our own lives- the pain we've faced, the depth of understanding we really have for some of our kiddos- but I wish they knew. So that they'd know there is a way out. Inspiring. Thank you for this .

  3. What a powerful quick write, Leigh Anne. Writing takes courage if/when we let down our guard and let the words flow. Thanks for being a role model for this!

  4. I appreciate that you gave background to your quick writing. Quick writing is a powerful tool. I think it takes away the judgment we throw upon our work. I like the honesty that emerges.

  5. This is a beautiful way to let our students know us in a more personal way. Thank you for sharing with us and giving us a peek into who you are.

  6. Students need to know that we are human with our own set of problems and issues. What honesty and wisdom in this slice.

  7. I have asked this question of various groups of kids and the answers almost always break my heart in the form of "What I wish my teacher knew".

    I think I will do this in my own writing. Brave of you to share it here.

  8. Powerful, compelling post, Leigh Anne. This makes you much more endearing to me and I am sure, other readers as well.

  9. Wow- what a great and brave idea to write what you wish your students knew. This is beautiful.

  10. Ditto—to your prompt and most of the content. My parents separated before I was born. I do share stories w/ students when we write together. I’m sending you a hug.

  11. I'm catching up on posts today. I love how vulnerable you are willing to be with these quick writes. Writing is a great way to work through stuff. You do have a great capacity to love (and be shiny!).