Each year when I begin the Slice of Life Writing Challenge, I am somewhat surprised at my feelings. The feelings in that week before the March 1 date approaches, during the month and reflecting as I wrap up a last post.
Initially, I was terrified. Putting my attempts at writing out there for anyone to read was intimidating the first year. But, through those fearful feelings, I learned so much about teaching young writers. Its that intuitive information teachers are always trying to develop. An experience we may not get from a class or journal article.
I grew to appreciate that reluctance of moving pencil across paper some students exhibit. I especially see this in August of a new school year, with a new teacher and new classmates.
Fingers quivering over linking up my feeble words that first year is similar to a student's momentary lack of writing confidence. And because of my initial slicing experience, I approach working with those students in a much different way.
I identify the intimidation, I encourage, I suggest. But in the end I require. I require words are submitted and submitted and submitted. Because the accomplishment fuels the writer. Pushing past fears taught me this and now I want those whom I work with to experience it. Experience and overcome a writing challenge.