Thursday, June 9, 2011


Today was my last day with two of my class periods. It was definitely sad to spend my last few times with these students. My heart hurts every time I have to say goodbye to students at the end of a year or my time with a classroom. I get so attached to people and, as any of my family and close friends would tell you, I am horrible with goodbyes. So, as I sit here this evening and reflect on the day and the year, I find myself thumbing back through the letters they wrote me last week.

After watching Finding Neverland, I asked the students to write a reflection of themselves as writers and by choosing one of the options below to relate to themselves either now or at the beginning of the year.

Option 1:
"I can't write." -Peter
"Have you ever had a journal or written a play?" James Barrie
"Then how do you know?"

Option 2:
"I don't know what to write about." - Peter
"Oh, sure you do... Write about the talking whale." - James Barrie
"What whale?"
"The one who's trapped inside your imagination and is trying desperately to get out."

I went out on a limb, unsure of what kind of response I would get. The letters that came back primarily proclaimed that they had grown as writers. See a few below:

Dear Mrs. B:

Option 1. At the beginning of the year I had *no* (he put the *'s in the letter) idea I could write. When we were assigned the mystery project I was inspired. I began writing my draft for The Mystery of Mean Street in my notebook.

Some edits later and VOILA! My first novel, The Mystery of Mean Street was born. I was inspired and wrote more and more. I have grown as a writer because I found my potential. I enjoy writing mysteries, fiction, western, and sci-fi. I enjoy writing.

- Boy, 6th grade

Dear Mrs. B.,

Option 1 relates to me because in the beginning of the year I never thought I could have accomplished some of the things I did this year. Some of the stories I wrote this year surprised me. I could not believe when I won the character essay. Plus, my story was given to a famous author! This year has definitely taught me believing in yourself can take you a long way.

Yes, I have grown as a writer this year. I remember in the 5th grade I would sit and sit waiting for a story idea to pop into my head. This year I have learned that you can write about the simplest things and they can turn into a amazing story.

My favorite kind of writing is either mystery or things that have happened in real life. I also enjoy some times of poetry like free verse.

Yes, I enjoy writing. Writing can take your mind off of stuff happening in life for a while.

- Girl, 6th grade

The famous author was David Baldacci. Four of my students' stories were chosen to be given to this famous author in a scrapbook, when he visited our area. This child also won the Character Essay contest by writing a better essay than all of the 7th and 8th graders. She's certainly a talented young woman with exceptional abilities and potential!

Dear Mrs. B.,

Option 2
It relates to me because at the start of school I had no idea what I was goot at writing until this class got into new writing styles for us. Yes, I have grown because I found out what I'm good at with writing. I like writing poems because my dad writes poems, so I think I got that from him. It's easier for me to rhyme than just write in general.

Yes, I like writing because it gives me a way to express myself in a way words can not. It also gives my creative mind a place to put all its ideas. Writing has not only given me a more productive thing to do with my time, but I also feel I've grown as a pearson from it.

- Boy, 6th Grade

Dear Mrs. B.,

At the beginning of the year I really did not like to write. But through on the year I started to write a little more each day and after a few weeks I was writing 3 pages a day and finishing Day Books. So writing isn't as bad as I thought it would be. So far I'm on my 3rd Day Book, so I have grown as a writer this year.

- Boy, 6th Grade

Very proud of this student!!!!!

Dear Mrs. B.,

I chose Option 1 because I think I have rised from where I was and I am proud of myself. I find that my favorite types of writing are fantasy and mystery. I know that I have probably done many stories that if you looked in my Day Book you would be proud of me too. To your third question, I do like to write because you can express your feelings and put them on paper and to me I believe that is one of the most beautiful things you can do sometimes. When I'm bored I just get some paper and express myself from my heart. The only reason that is possible is because my smart and nice english teacher Mrs. B. taught me how and for all the things she has done for me I really appreciate everything you have done for me over the past year. If it was not knowing what to write about or from helping me with my work, I thank you Mrs. B.

Boy, 6th Grade

This boy's had a very tough life. Such a touching letter!

Dear Mrs. B.,

Option 1 relates the most to me because in the beginning of the year, I never thought about keeping a journal. It wasn't important to me. Now, I try to write everyday in a journal, especially major events that happen. I NEVER thought that writing things down were important. Now, when I get older, I'll have things to look back and remember about my childhood.

Yes, I do feel as I have grown as a writer this year. Last year, I didn't write in a journal, major events, or important things down. I never wrote stories as good either. I think that I have improved on these things this year.

I like to write mysteries and poems. I also like to write about true events that have happened to me. I do enjoy writing because whatever that you're thinking, just flows to your hand and you automatically know what you're going to write about.

Girl, 6th Grade

Oh how I will miss my writers! Thanks Finding Neverland, for your prompts and thought-provoking insights!


  1. And it was so hard at the beginning, wasn't it? Next year, at the beginning of the year, it might be hard again. Look at these letters again for reassurance. You're such a talented person. I wish I could see you teach!
    love you!

  2. Magnificent post. So proud of you--teaching is where you belong.