I feel so honored to have these students, many of which I've seen grown from age 5 to age 10 (or 11), share their stories with me. One student shared a time when her older sister scared her on an amusement park ride. Another shared about the time she met her best friend in 2nd grade. That I knew the characters from these stories made me smile, thankful for the years of connections I have had with these students. I am also learning things I didn't know, that one student's sister has seizures and that another's greatest triumph was the time he defeated his dad in a basketball game.
Some might view this time as a chore, and would rather focus their energy on their main role at school. I see it as a time to grow. I get to strengthen my bond with my students. And, who knows, in the process of teaching writing, I may just become a writer myself.