Today after school, I spent an hour working with two of my boys. We've been doing some descriptive writing; the kids chose an object that was meaningful to them because of someone it's connected to, and they wrote about it. Tomorrow we're typing the pieces up and inserting photos of their objects, and then we will create a class magazine which will be distributed at parent/teacher conferences.
The boys I was working with today are not particularly talented writers; in fact, they struggle. A lot. But they stayed, and they worked, and they got their pieces done, and they'll be ready to type them tomorrow. It wore me out - every sentence was a struggle with one of them, a debate over whether or not he could think of something to say. Could he? Yes. But hot damn it took some time to get there.
At the end of the hour, I spent a few minutes talking to one of them about writing: his feelings around it, what he's interested in writing about, what he's felt good about in the past. He had nothing to say. I pushed him on it. "So what writing have you done that you're really proud of? When have you done a piece of writing that you thought you did a really good job on?"
He thought for a minute. "Well, only this one."
"The one you just finished?"
"Yeah. I never thought I did a good job before. But I think I did a really good job on this."
Suddenly I didn't feel so tired.
(Photo credit to frielp.)