I love this vignette of a student and teacher making meaning together:
I keep on finding myself drawn to conversations between one student and one teacher, like this one. There is something special about what can be done when this kind of personal exchange can take place, where both sides are learning something from the other.
I am so glad you were able to put away the lesson plan and just listen to your student. But, I wonder what would happen if more writing conferences and check-ins went something like this. What if the exchanges were all with the expectation of “write back”? What if we spent our time as teachers simply asking what was getting in the way of student’s learning?
My guess is that our entire classroom would become “the talking box” and we wouldn’t have to wait for designated times in a lesson for these types of conversations to occur. It almost would feel like each student could have their own private chat window or SMS conversation with a teacher, constantly building the relationship and making it less about the needs of the teacher/curriculum and more about the needs of the student.
Thank you for this post. It was a wonderful example of what can happen when in a classroom when you wait just long enough to figure out what is really going on.