23 Jan Slice of Life: I Wouldn’t Change a Thing… #SOL18
“As your reader, you touched my heart. That’s pretty powerful. I can tell this was an important topic for you. You wrote your narrative in a way that made it meaningful to me as well. Thank you for sharing your story with me.”
He looks up at me and can only hold my gaze for a moment. He averts his eyes and begins to fiddle with his pencil.
“I look forward to reading your next piece.”
As we move to confer with the next writer, the teacher questions, “Why didn’t you teach anything in the conference? Shouldn’t there always be a teaching point? Research. Decide. Teach.”
I have to stop and think for a moment. Did I have a teaching point? Does every conference have to have a teaching point? Lucy does say Research. Decide. Teach. I respond, “Say more about that.”
She continues, “You didn’t teach him anything or show him how to improve his writing. What goal did you leave him to work on?”
Again, I pause to think through her question more deeply. She is right. I did not explicitly model anything or show the writer how he might revise his piece. It was not explicit, but I do think there was a teaching point.
“I agree that I did not explicitly model in the conference. I noticed and named what he did in his writing.”
“Is it okay to just tell a student their writing is great – no need to fix it?”
“I personally love it when people respond to my writing as readers – tell me what they noticed and felt about my piece. It helps me see what moves I made – intentionally or unintentionally – and the impact they had on a reader. It is so motivating to hear how my writing impacts another person. I rarely have a response on my blog that tells me how to fix my post – and yet I am continually learning as a writer.”
“That makes sense.”
“I truly would not have changed a thing about his piece – some days a writer just needs to hear he nailed it.”
I know I learned this lesson from being a part of this “slicing” community. Thanks to all of you for teaching me to be a better writer and teacher of writing through your responses.