Writing is such a huge part of our world, and it is a vital way we communicate, learn, and connect with others; especially in the digital age. Teaching 1st grade, a large part of what we do is centered around literacy – learning to read and write. It’s not only important that we provide our students with strong foundational reading and writing skills, but we should strive to foster a genuine love, or interest, in reading and writing. Being a part of something like the Panda Cares Writing Fellowship really sparks my passion because I get to be surrounded by like-minded individuals, share ideas, and get excited about writing and teaching writing!
To sum up all that I would like to achieve through the Panda Cares Writing Fellowship, I have 3 ultimate wishes. I want to…
- Lay the foundation for a school-wide family literacy plan/program.
- Increase family and community engagement & involvement.
- Enhance students understanding of WHY we write & develop their love for writing.
Let me explain my wishes a little further…
Wish #1 – Lay the foundation for a school-wide family literacy plan/program.
Of course, we all know, literacy is critical for the success of our students, and to increase our students literacy skills we need a plan! What is more exciting than a school-wide literacy plan where families can be involved? While this is my first year taking part of this program, everyone must start somewhere, and while our plan for this year starts on a smaller scale for family literacy, I can feel that it is the start of something exciting for my school, our students, and our families! After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day! My wish is for other teachers at my school to get excited and get involved so we can expand our family literacy plan each year to reach more students, families, and community members.
Wish #2 – Increase family and community engagement & involvement.
At my school, and I’m sure many, many other schools as well, we are asked this question time and time again: “What can we do to increase our family and community engagement & involvement?” Year after year, I watch as our school attempts to get parents to attend parent workshops, join the Parent-Teacher Association, etc. Overall, yes, our families and community are busy, but they want to attend things that are for their students, especially when they INVOLVE their students. Creating a program that not only invites parents, families, and community members, but involves them as well, will hopefully increase the level of engagement and involvement at my school.
Wish #3 – Enhance students understanding of WHY we write & develop their love for writing.
In all that we do as educators, we do it for the kids above all else. Developing a lifelong passion for learning, and a love of reading and writing is at the core of what I strive to do. Students learn best when they can understand why we are doing something. Through this writing fellowship, students will not only learn more about the different components of writing, but they will deepen their understanding of the importance and value writing has – especially when used as a tool for communication.
Stay tuned, for the outcome of this writing fellowship and all that it (hopefully) accomplishes for my students, school, families, and community members.