I was probably one of the most reluctant writers on our blog at the beginning of the semester. When the idea of writing “professionally” for our peers in our class was brought up I immediately began to let fear take over. Then there was an add on of writing for administrators, or possibly other teachers, and then I shut my brain off telling myself, “you can’t do this”. I am happy to say that I pushed through those fears because blogging has changed the way I view myself as a writer, my approach to teaching writing in my classroom, and the way I view my students as writers.
It sounds exaggerated to say that blogging could do these things, but I am proof that writing for others strengthens, changes, and fosters the writers within us. I now thoroughly enjoy writing our blogs because it has become a platform in which I can showcase my students growth. We have so much to be proud of in our students, but rarely do we have a stage to highlight them on. I have enjoyed sharing with other teachers just how hard the students in my classroom work, and what they have learned. They have learned so much more than even I thought possible in writing before changing my view of the writers in my classroom. They too have grown a love for writing and are so excited to share their writing with others. I am constantly hearing phrases such as “every good writer always signs their name”, “can you please make more books we are out”, or “can I have a stapler because I made my own book”. These phrases are music to my ears. Looking back at the beginning of the semester I can honestly say I wasn’t sure we would actually make it to this point. I felt confident in the fact that they would grow, and they would produce writing but they have blown my expectations out of the water. I stumbled across the first blog I ever posted describing my confidence in them. The title, Every Good Writer Began In Preschool!, is an immediate reminder that no matter the age, with a little confidence a good writer is born. They grew more as a writer than I thought possible by the end of preschool and I couldn’t be more blessed to have been a part of their journey.
Personally, I can’t find words to adequately describe my writing adventure with the blog. Opening the window to my classroom with this form of writing has forced me to closely examine individual students, and tailor my instruction to better meet their needs. I have found this to be one of the most useful strategies for focusing on growth related to teaching methods across time. The ability to look immediately at what has been taught and the direct effect on my students has been beneficial to me. More than that I have enjoyed reading collective what my peers are doing in their respective classrooms, and how their students are responding. I have found myself craving this and spending hours reading other preschool teachers blogs as a result of writing in this way. I love sharing ideas with others and trying out their successes in my own classroom.
Looking back through my writings over this semester I reminisce on their growth and the changes that I see in them as writers. I must also be honest and say that I have also grown and changed as a teacher of writing. Being able to read back over the effort that was poured out into my students has been one of my favorite aspects of the blog. If I chose a recap of the semester I would point you to reading, Bittersweet. This blog depicts all the things that I never saw possible before the blog. I would have never attempted a whole group writing lesson, I wouldn’t have imagined that they could stay focused and engaged for 14 minutes, and I wouldn’t have thought that I would see this much growth in my students. Blogging has made all this possible, writing a blog didn’t teach me things I needed to be a better teacher of aspiring writers, but it did teach me how to be an effective teacher of writing. I am now able to better tailor writing instruction for my students as I view their progress over time. All in all, I am a confident writer, who now enjoys sharing with colleagues.