SOLC#20: More Than Halfway Done


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.
Writing is My Hobby

Take from Charles Jeffery Danoff released by Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

12 thoughts on “SOLC#20: More Than Halfway Done

  1. Wanda Brown says:

    I believe that when we teach what is difficult for us, we reach more children. We see the little steps because we experienced them ourselves. I think it is one of the reasons I love teaching math…it was not easy for me and yet as I grew older, I realized I really was a pretty good math student. Thank you for passing on patience and perseverance to your students as they write. Who knows which one of them may make a living by writing or how many will become life-long writers for the pure enjoyment of it.

    • jee young says:

      I agree with you on that Wanda. Sometimes it’s hard to teach the things that come easy for us because we don’t understand the struggle that students have with it. Thanks for your thoughtful comment! I hope many of my writers become lifelong writers!

  2. missmoyer says:

    I really appreciated this and could connect to your feelings in so many ways.
    These sentences really stood out to 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.”

  3. Diana Martin says:

    I enjoyed reading your post very much. I love your honesty. I also wanted you to know that your posts have given me many ideas for my own writing and writing I can do with my own students. Your writing not only impacts your students but it also impacts kids living all the way in a small city in Michigan where I teach. Your words have power. Just wanted you to know. 🙂

    • jee young says:

      Thank you for your encouraging comment! I’m glad to hear that my posts are helpful and impacting others. I think it’s so amazing how the internet can bring people from all over the world into this community of writers and teachers.

  4. Linda Baie says:

    I imagine that we all have anxieties about what we do when we write, how it will be received. I recently read the book, Hidden Gems, by Katherine Bomer, & led a staff discussion about some of the chapters. In the book, Bomer talks about the baggage we bring to our writing, from ‘red marks’ on our papers in our schooling, from no one giving courage to write. It sounds as if you have carried some of that, but look, you’ve learned that you like to write, & can do it well. What a lovely gift of ‘baggage’ you are giving to your students.

  5. MaryHelen says:

    Love the fact that your students are transforming. Your encouragement and teaching is helping them see something they could not see for themselves. Fantastic.

  6. onesunflower says:

    This challenge has been interesting to reflect on hasn’t it! I like how you’ve described how much we are impacted by our impressions of ourselves as writers or non-writers and that the transformation to believing ourselves to indeed be writers is dependent on others seeing us as so. I could write in a vacuum but it wouldn’t be the same. We write to be read.

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