I’ve actually started writing (can you image?) and I thought I’d take to my blog and work toward my 1000 word quota for this week. So as I have talked about my struggles and desperate hopes when it came to this project, I figured that I should talk about what this has taught me as far as my position as a future teacher.
More than anything, I’ve learned to be empathetic of the struggle writing in a genre that is new to you, or one that you may not understand as well, during this project. I cannot express how eye opening this was for me. Being a writer, I often struggle to understand why people hate writing or why they struggle to get into the process of it. God, to I feel stupid looking back on that kind of thinking. I should have already understood this, knowing how I feel when someone tries to force me into writing poetry, but I hadn’t thought about it much before now. Now, looking back at the struggles I have faced as a writer during this point in my process, I will never again wonder why my future students struggle with writing. In fact, I am going to work my hardest to clarify what is expected of my students and do my best to help them through their struggles. While it is going to be expected that they write and complete their projects, I can work with them to better understand why they’re writing—that was always a large issue for me when I was in high school.
I especially want to utilize the discussion based techniques that are mentioned in Comfort Zone in my own classroom if I use this classroom. Since much of this project is centered around student discovery, the discussion of different genres seems to central and important to the project. I know how much discussion helps me and it reminds the students that the learning they are coming onto is all from their own processes. I would act as a resource to my students rather than an “all-knowing” type of figure, there when they need me, but not to lecture at them. I want my students to understand that I am a human too and that I can struggle just as much as they may when I’m facing a new form/genre of writing. This is why wobbling with my students will be just as important as focusing on the discussion of their discovery. Perhaps, as they discuss I can bring in examples of my own writing in a new genre to aid them in more realistic examples rather than expecting them to go out and find examples in random texts.
Really my biggest interest would be how I would modify the project to mean the needs of a ninth grade class, as that is the youngest I would like to teach in the future. The technology piece may be interesting to incorporate into the classroom, as it’s becoming increasingly more present nowadays, but I wouldn’t expect them to write nearly as much, though I would want them journaling daily. I would still want them to use most aspects of this projects as outlined in Comfort Zone, but I would focus on making it less complex or having so many pieces to the project.
Really, the project is applicable to all ages, and I plan on using my experience with it in my future classroom with my students, regardless of their age. There is a lot to be learned from this project in general and I see it as highly applicable to kids in high school.