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Can We Make Them Believe? Project 180, Day 19

Hey Sy!
It’s Lily W. I just wanted to thank you for believing in me as well as providing all of us with the resources necessary to help us succeed. I appreciated all your feedback last year; I am now seeing the results of how it helped me grow as a writer. I am writing my first college paper, and I feel as though I am going to destroy this paper (in a good way). Thanks again, Sy, for all of your encouragement.
Woke up to find this in my email inbox this morning. Lily is a student from last year who is now taking English 101 at Eastern Washington University in the Running Start program. She came to me last year as a sophomore, sorely lacking confidence as a writer, steadfastly proclaiming that writing was not her thing, emphatically establishing that she was not a writer. But I saw, I thought, I believed differently upon reading her work, and I told her. But she did not believe, at least not initially. And so, I rolled up my shirt sleeves and set to work, not only on teaching Lily writing, but also–more importantly, on teaching Lily to believe: in Lily. And apparently, my efforts were not in vain. But, really, I did nothing. I simply gave her a nudge in the right direction, so that she could discover and uncover what was already there. I wish it were that simple for all my kids. For while I embrace and cherish success stories like Lily’s, I shun but shoulder my failed attempts with others. Still, success or failure, I roll up my sleeves either way, every day, and set to work on my kids, clinging to my ideals, chasing my dreams that I can make them believe. All of them.
I have my work cut out for me this year, for I have a roster full of non-believers as I shared in my recent post, ‘Cause Teaching Writing Ain’t Hard Enough . They don’t believe they are writers. I do. I believe, and that’s where I believe their belief begins. And that’s beyond content. That’s about kids. And I believe that’s the key. Truly and deeply.
Today’s Trail
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…chant our Mindset Mantras. Yesterday, we successfully shifted from “you” to “I.” It was little awkward, but the kids were not too cool for school, and they played along. Of course, it’s easier to play along when we end with, “I am awesome.” For good measure, we repeated that, and ended with an even more emphatic AWESOME. I really believe in my “Hear it. Say it. Believe it.” approach.
…continue drafting our narrative essays (creating believers).
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
…end with Sappy Sy Rhyme. Looking for a more novel way to end each day, I decided to start writing and reciting a sappy poem to end our time together. Really just want the kids to leave knowing they matter. Here’s my rhyme from yesterday.
And that’s our day. Happy Tuesday, all.

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