Sunday, January 13, 2008

I didn't expect Bob to come home this weekend but he had laryngitis and didn't teach Friday so he came and I really enjoyed the extra time with him. He wasn't sick really, just not audible - so of course teaching wouldn't have worked. He and I didn't talk as much as usual, which was sweet in its way - lots of touch and a quiet kind of togetherness that I used to find boring and have come to appreciate better. We had the grand kids with us for only a few hours this weekend cherished unexpected time alone together.

I also spent many hours doing critiques of some of twenty two fourth grade writing projects. The kids each wrote about a good day with friends or family and the range of experiences as well as the range of eloquence was huge. The writing part of my brain is worn out from trying to help the kids get a sense of flow and organization - not rules but a sense of the feel of a piece when it works. That's a hard thing to do anyway, and I really tried hard to fine tune the critiques to give enough food for growth but not to discourage anyone.

The good news is that some of the kids really are able to write in a way that their spirit and unique voice come through. One girl always writes something delightful and this time she really had me laughing at her account of playing dress up at the mall with her best friend (looking like a Christmas ornament in a long red and green dress) and then accidentally overturning a mountain of Hannah Montana dolls and struggling to undo the damage. Her knack for dialog and her strong spirit please me. She also is the one who wrote a fast moving description of losing her brakes downhill on a bike and managing not to crash. I am so glad Bob is teaching school and letting me get a glimpse at the lives of his students.

1 comment:

Dixi said...

One of the things I really enjoyed about teaching was reading the fourth grade writings. I can empathize with what you experienced...how to suggest and help without discouraging someone. Bob is fortunate to have you as a willing helper.