My school year is basically complete. Next week I will be responsible for what so many ignorant people think teachers do all year: babysitting! Field trips, movie day, having my kids take down all the stuff in my classroom: ah, the joys of the last week of school.
Somehow, it all managed to get done. Friday morning I made sure that my kids finished cleaning up both their personal narratives (a kiddie version of my own piece published here) and their porquoi tales. They chose their favorite to put in the writing portfolios that travel with them to their next teacher. Most of my students chose their personal narratives. This is when I hit my stride as a writing teacher, and I think that most of them are really proud of what they produced as writers.
I’m a tough writing teacher. I make them sweat, begging me to be done with every writing session. Initially, I was worried that this would have a bad effect on some of the kids who whine at just about every session. However, as they began to see how really great, non-5-paragraph-essays could evolve into something amazing, I found myself being begging and cajoled, “Mrs. Karnatz, are we going to start writing now? When are we going to write?” Nothing has given me a greater thrill than hearing those words.