Teaching in a Pandemic (I CanNOT Survive This Twice)

Being a teacher this year has been one of the hardest experiences I have ever had to push myself through. I have written a bit on here about my journey being a 7th grade English teacher this year, amidst virtual learning, then hybrid learning, and now still hybrid but really like 80% face-to-face and 20% virtual.

Every part of this year has been so difficult. Let’s break it down.

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Mrs. Wright Does NaNo – The Extremely Late Conclusion

Well, well, well.

January is definitely not too late to finally tell you how my students fared during National Novel Writing Month in November, right?

Better late than never, right?

Ok ok. The gripping conclusion:

This year, I had a total of 73 students write at least one word during the month. Some wrote stories, some journaled daily, some did other questionable things but I counted it anyway.

Period by period, it broke down to:

1st period32056
2nd period37850
5th Period36906

For a grand total of……

106,812 words!

Pop the confetti cannons, sound the horn!

You guys, I was so blown away by what my 7th grade students accomplished in just one month of incorporating daily writing. I’m even more so astonished because roughly 60% of them are still learning at home, joining in through Zoom daily.

I did add in a little bribery to help propel that number into the six figure mark. Obviously, Thanksgiving falls in November, so that meant a full 5 days where I couldn’t force students to write during class time. Recognizing that I would not get to 100k if they didn’t write, I offered up a total of $40 in gift cards. $10 for the most words written in each class period, and one extra $10 to the most words written overall. I had about 10 students write some during the break, but the three who took the gift cards combined for over 10,000 words to add to the total. Those students received a gift card of their choice before we left for the break. 🙂

We were hoping to have a huge party at the end, have students share a paragraph or two, enjoy some snacks and drinks, but some sudden changes in our 7th grade team forced us to change plans. Teaching in 2020-2021: 0 stars/do not recommend.

BUT this gave me hope. I was never prouder entering in final word counts on December 1 and seeing not just the 100k, but just some of the amazing word counts students were able to put up. So many didn’t think they’d write more than 100 words, and were amazed at themself at the end seeing they wrote more than 1,000!

I can’t wait for the opportunity to do this again, perhaps on a bigger scale? But if not, my own classroom is good enough for me.

Cheers!

NaNoWriMo: A Shocking Week 2 Update

It’s the end of week 2 of National Novel Writing Month, so you know what that means — time for an update on my students’ progress!

I promise this post will be shorter and much quicker to the point. You can recap all the information about our NaNoWriMo project in my first two posts! (One) (Two)

Once again, these is only the numbers for my students; I do not have data for the other 7th grade ELAR teachers’ students at this time, but hope that at the end I can share their numbers as well. I’m trying to figure out how to get those numbers without creating more work for my colleagues. 2020 is hard enough, am I right?

Ok, without further ado…

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On Being Hard On Yourself

After leaving a meeting that I joined into even though I had to take the day off today, I sat here at my desk recognizing that I am literally my own worst critic. Honestly, I already knew that, but I feel like I need to keep saying it out loud to fully accept it as the truth. It’s a mindset I do not wish upon anybody, because in my mind, I am never good enough.

I strive and strive to be the best at what I’m doing. Weirdly, this does not affect me in all parts of my life. I never strived to be the best in sports – I was okay with being good enough. I never strived to be the best in school – C’s get degrees, baby. I never strived to be the best, most successful sibling/family member/friend, etc.

For me, I strive to be the best in my career: I’m a 7th grade ELAR teacher who is struggling through every part of this school year.

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NaNoWriMo 2020 – Week ONE

Ahh, you have come back to see how my students fared in week one of National Novel Writing Month, I see. Well let me tell you, you are going to feel PROUD when you see these numbers. After a rough week in general, being able to put these numbers on the whiteboard at the end of the day on Friday made me forget some of the stressors I had faced beforehand.

This year, as I mentioned in my previous post, all of my students are participating in some way. Some are going full out, having set word count goals and are writing a larger story via the YWP website. Others are free writing, journaling, using my optional daily prompts, etc. through the month and have not set a word count goal.

My goal is just to get them to WRITE everyday.

So this year, all stats will be numbers only, no percentages. But these numbers – WHOA.

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