A week or so ago, I wrote about my student who was applying to a college preparatory high school and my concerns about his writing. After reflecting, through blogging, of course, I started to brainstorm some ways to help him. Unfortunately, writing is exceedingly difficult to teach when you see a student only once per week for an hour. In that hour, I frequently need to help him with other content areas (i.e., math, social studies, etc.), and it leaves little time for authentic writing instruction.
I started to think more like a teacher, and less like a homework-help tutor, and I’m happy with the resulting product.
We decided to start a blog, coincidentally. I was a bit apprehensive at first. He is very much a “boy’s boy,” which I am entirely not. Sometimes, I fear that my passion for writing can come off a bit feminine, and I needed to make sure he did not become turned off by that. Of course, the idea for the blog was mine, but I was absolutely shocked at his response to my idea.
First and foremost, he did not understand the importance of blogs in our society, and second, he did not believe me when I said he could write about whatever he wanted. It seems that he has been given little choice when it comes to topic and genre in the past, which saddens me deeply. No wonder he hates writing. We began by listing some ideas, many of which centered around basketball, as an attempt to “get his feet wet” with blogging. He immediately seemed thrilled to be taking on this extra task, and we decided, together, that three blogs would be appropriate for his first week as a blogger.
Upon leaving, he expressed his excitement, which surprised me even more, and I left to tutor his brother.
When I finished working with his brother, he excitedly ran around the corner, showing off his first entry as a published writer to his dad, his mom, and me. He was officially a writer.