I am proud to say that I have a decent relationship with my daughters aged 19 and 22. We chat, share laughs, discuss issues and disagree like any fairly normal mother-daughter relationship. I accept that my children as they mature pick the pieces of their lives and thoughts that they want to share with their parents, just as I did with mine.
My 22 year old has been a writer all her life – words have been her friend: spoken, read, written and sung. She has, in fact recently, begun a career using these skills in a Marketing Communications role. A rich blessing I will say has been passed on from her grand-mother who in her later years shared many musings in the written form. She has dabbled in blogging for a number of years and I always enjoy the conversations that often lead to a post as well as the end result.
When someone writes, they often expose themselves in different ways than they would in spoken language and this is never more true than in the recent days when my 19 year old has begun a blog – challenging herself to post each day. When I read her posts feels like I am getting to know her in a different way. I am seeing a side of her that I admit I had not acknowledged or recognised earlier. Perhaps it is a result of maturity and a bit of life experience but it is definitely providing an interesting read : enlightening in many ways.
It makes me think about our classrooms and the importance of providing our students with a variety of outlets for expressing themselves, sharing their learning and expressing themselves. Sometimes, they may not be ready to use a tool in way they may later in their lives but they will learn along the way nevertheless. Our students should be invited to write on paper, in a journal, sketch, write a blog post, draw, paint, record a podcast, prepare a speech, compose a song, write an essay and any other format you can think of.
Our students, like my daughter, may surprise you if given the chance. The teacher role in this is exposing them to a variety of media, digital and non-digital : many of these ideas will not be in their toolkit unless they are introduced to them. Many will suit them at some times and for some purposes but not for all.
In the meantime, I will keep enjoying the glimpse into the other side of my girl !