I am writing my 20th post for the slice of life story challenge. To be honest, it hasn’t been easy trying to blog every single days. Many nights, as the deadline approached to post my slice, I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve wanted to stop writing. I felt like there was nothing to write about. I felt like my writing really sucked. But, I continued.
Now that I’m reaching towards the end of the 31 days, I can’t help, but smile and be reminded of the power of being part of a supportive writing community with other slice of lifers. All the comments I’ve gotten have been so encouraging and helped me continue to write. Thank you. As I was thinking about what to write, I was reminded of my journey as a writer and teacher.
I was always good at math growing up. Maybe it was all those kumon worksheets that my mom made me do. Maybe I was just feeding into the stereotype that Asians are good at it. I just know that math came to me easily.
I loved writing, yet I never felt like I was a good writer. I remember getting back papers with red marks all over it. I didn’t get as many As on my English papers. I didn’t get into AP language. I was in the “normal” English class. Maybe it was the lack of encouraging remarks I got from my English teachers. Maybe I was feeding into the stereotype that since I looked Korean on the outside, I could never be a great writer in English.
Since coming to Korea, I started teaching writing as a fifth grade teacher. I’ve started to write again and realized how much I enjoy it. The majority of my students are ESL students as their first language is Korean. Many of them don’t like writing or think they’re necessarily “good” at it when they come to my classroom.
However, I’m seeing a transformation. They are becoming real writers. They know the writing process, they know how to zoom in on small moments, and they know how to analyze mentor texts for good writing craft.
I need to acknowledge even their accomplishments, no matter how small. I need to encourage them to see the jewels in their own writing. I know that they each have a writer inside of them. I need to see in them what my teachers didn’t see in me.
I live to see the smiles when I compliment them on their writing pieces. I live to see the enthusiasm they have to share their writing with others. I live to read their writing that surprises, impresses and moves me.