In Charge of Celebrations #sol18
May 15, 2018
I’ve been neglecting my responsibility. The person who never comes to a meeting with out cookies, muffins, or slices of cake has forgotten to celebrate success.
As a coach, there’s always a subject or subjects dujour. One of the elements of literacy I have been deeply coaching into this year is process over product. What I know that to mean is we don’t have to over edit writing, make a fancy laminated cover, and make sure all the mistakes are corrected. We can celebrate what happened live. I say that, but I haven’t lived it.
There’s a great deal of new content in my school and district much of which is literacy based. That is the nature of elementary school. New ideas are coming at us at a breakneck speed. We are rushing along with them. We have a map and we are moving along it.
I started thinking about losing celebrations as I collaborated with a teacher in a third grade class some weeks ago. She was bemoaning the fact that the students she worked with never finished their writing pieces. The words were floating out of my mouth that it’s the process, they are just learning the techniques when I examined those words as they floated into the room. Something in the back of my mind replied, it does kind of matter if they never finish. How will they celebrate their accomplishments?
Those thoughts continued to rattle around across some other grades. In first grade, we were quickly finishing fairy tales and moving on to nonfiction chapter books. In second grade we were moving from nonfiction chapter books to poetry. In third grade, we were finishing our literary essays and moving on to persuasive speeches. We needed a stop along the way.
I was just getting ready to say something to someone. I copied some first grade nonfiction chapter books. I had the kiddos read me their books as they finished. Then a second grade teacher had her class read their nonfiction books to their reading buddies. The third grade teacher wanted to spark her students and helped them go back and type their literacy essays for a gallery walk.
So now, still process over product. Not perfect products, but writing to celebrate. Finishing still might not be all that important, but certainly celebrating is. So in the face of a avalanche of content, take time to savor the writing.
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers and my Slice community for always giving me an opportunity to celebrate writing.