Reflection is a big part of my teaching life. I try to show my students the importance of reflection and how we can use that reflection to make changes in our learning, our growing, and our life.
We have two weeks left in our school year, so my students completed a year-end reflection on Friday. The questions range from reflecting on their own reading and writing life to ways I can make our classroom better to what was their favorite book. I use their answers to make adjustments to my own teaching practices and improvements to my classroom library.
As I was reading through their responses this morning, one in particular made me pause. If I had to describe this student, I would say she is rather shy, doesn't talk much, and doesn't like attention, which makes getting to her know a little difficult. It was during our narrative unit back in the fall where I felt like I really met her for the first time.
Her narrative had elements of writing that are difficult to teach, especially to 6th graders. Her vocabulary is well-advanced for her age and her voice shined in this piece. The first words I wrote on her feedback sheet were:
"You are a writer!"
As we continued to write throughout the year, I could see her confidence growing. I could see her standing just a little bit taller when she came to class. I could see her smiling.
But I didn't realize the full impact until I read her reflection.
In one response she wrote, "I loved her positivism to my writing, which made me feel good about how much effort I put into the essays."
And in another, "I haven't liked writing that much until only last semester, which after first semester and writing a personal narrative essay, I found out of my new passion."
The power of words. A simple statement of acknowledgment that says, "I see you" can make all the difference.
I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic