**Written last night, after posting my student blog...
Tonight as I copied and pasted my students' work into our student slice blog, I silently read along.
My heart is so full right now of so many emotions that I find myself unable to write about anything but the amazing effort of my students. Writing is such a personal act, and it reveals so much of the character of the author--this time my 6th grade Communication Arts students.
As I read my own student authors, I see them more clearly than ever. I feel like we are on a 31-day, get-to-know-you adventure together. As we peel back the layers of superficial, "school" writing, the true natures of my 6th graders are revealed. Themes develop like kindness, friendship, perseverance, hard work, fun, optimism, joy...the list grows each day.
And then there is the effect they have on me...their hopes, their dreams, their uplifting words become MY inspiration. I am brought to tears as I read about their failures, successes, and heartbreaks. I am challenged by their risks. I know it's starting to get hard at this point (Mostly because it's starting to get hard for me, too!), and yet they stay committed.
I love that I see their words evolving; they are finding their writing voices. I like seeing them comment to each other; not the comments they might have left each other a week ago, but the thoughtful, deep compliments that real writers give to one other. As their confidence grows, I feel more and more sure that Slice of Life was meant to happen this year with this group of kids. Thank goodness, I get to be part of it.
I confess. I never expected this much of an impact. On me. On them. On others. The chain effect continues, and I love it.
I think March might be my new favorite month.