Sunday, February 13, 2011

Making Time to Celebrate

I realized this weekend that I have been missing something in my classroom--well, more like I had forgotten about it for a good long while. I was reading my friend Ruth's post on Friday at Two Writing Teachers and realized that it has been a long, long time since we've celebrated finished writing projects in my room.

Celebrations are important. They are a way of acknowledging not only accomplishment or achievement, but hard work and improvement. We do have celebrations in our room--often small, private ones. Like when A. looks up and exclaims, "hey--I figured that out!" and we exchange a fist bump or high 5. Or larger ones, like when the whole class broke into spontaneous applause when E. passed a math test and was so excited she jumped up and down.

But what I realized as I read Ruth's post was that for writers, it really feels like time to celebrate when you are holding a published project in your hands. Or even better, when you get to share it with others. As someone who has written publicly and privately, I have learned that having the chance to share and celebrate my writing is motivating and energizing. It makes me want to write more. Which is sort of the idea.

I don't think that we need to throw a huge elaborate celebration at the end of each project a child completes; in fact, we'd be partying every day if we did! What I'm thinking though is that I should make sure to take time once in a while--at the end of a major unit or study or at the end of each month--and teach the kids that celebrating hard work is important. Important enough to stop what we're doing for one workshop time and share our work with each other--and maybe with parents or other school personnel.

In my work as a classroom teacher and as a literacy coach, I've participated in a lot of celebrations. I've been to poetry book signings in kindergarten, research sharing in third grade, and memory book readings in several grades. I've seen celebrations with dressed-up kids and teachers, microphones, and yummy goodies after. I've been to celebrations with nothing more that construction paper covers and a group of kids sitting on the rug around a low stool. And during every one of those celebrations, there was more than just the excitement of a party in the air. There was a sense of pride. There was appreciation of time and effort spent. There was energy for new projects yet to be started.

So it's time. Time to make time for celebrating our work and learning as writers. Somehow, I feel more energized already.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reminding us to celebrate with our kids. I think I do my own secret celebrating, and forget to include them in on it! After all, they shared in the work!