When I was in the classroom, I had the hardest time facing the end of the year. There was so much more I wanted to be able to learn with my students and there were so many things left to create and so many questions left unanswered. Don’t get me wrong: the days moved slowly at times for sure, but the years always flew right by us. I often found myself chasing after the loose ends of conversation that trailed people out of the door at the end of each day. I would wonder if everyone had a chance to say what they needed to….if they needed more support….if they had made connections that we didn’t have time to explore.
That was a different time though, and I was in a far different place.
In those days, there were no computers in my classroom. I kept an online journal, but I never would have dreamed about blogging with my students. Kids socialized in the bathroom between classes and on their landlines after school. Teachers used the words face and book in more directive ways back then (such as please put your face in your book and read). Kids weren’t texting…they passed notes to one another under their desks. I know that school still looks like this in far too many places, but here’s what else I know: things have changed considerably in the place where I come from.
Almost four years ago, I started the WNY Young Writers’ Studio. Here, we have time to ask all of the questions we need to. Our learning lasts much longer than ten short months, and most importantly, the web enables us to extend our conversations far beyond the time we meet face-to-face. When I first began teaching, I would have relished this sort of opportunity for the time it provided to teach kids more. Now, I value the time that I have with this group for learning that they provide me.
Some of the teachers and kids in Studio have been blogging for different purposes for some time now, others have been eager to get started, and all of us have wanted to create opportunities to learn more together in ways that gel with all of our crazy schedules. So, here’s what we’re doing: beginning December 1st, we’ll be kicking off a blogging boot camp right here. Each Wednesday for two months, myself and others will be posting new content designed to provide some guidance, resources, support, and yes…homework…. to interested young bloggers.
Disclaimer: we’ve never done something like this before, and I have no idea how it will turn out. I do know that we’ll have a lot of fun and learn a few things from one another along the way, though. I hope you’ll spread the word and join us there! Our writers would love to connect with you and with others beyond our community. If you have some thoughts about how that could happen, feel free to email me.
Details and the full boot camp schedule will be posted here and there during the last week of November.