Dear Dr. Shea,
This course is one of five that I am enrolled in this semester. I feel that this is the class I
have experienced the most growth in so far. In the beginning of the semester, I was a little wary
of the circle set up and the close interaction that was encouraged during class. In the first few
classes I remained shy and did not talk often. After that, I realized many of my classmates were
just like me. They were juggling classes, work, sports, and clubs and so on. I also realized that I
could learn from my classmates. We are all English majors. It is refreshing to begin to establish
relationships. For example, I discussed with many of my classmates our topics for the minilessons. I felt this was an example of me growing as a teacher. When I am a teacher, I hope to
converse with other teachers about lesson plans, ideas, assessment, students, etc…
At the beginning of the semester I felt very lost and confused, especially after missing the
first class. In the beginning of the semester, one of my goals was to write more openly about my
feelings. I feel that in my Writer’s Notebook, I frequently do freewrites on my feelings. This is
the first time I have openly written about my mom which is a really tough subject for me because
she moved out of the house over a year ago. After writing down thoughts and feelings, I can
genuinely say that I feel my relationship with my mom has improved. By writing down my
feelings, I can clear my mind to some extent. I write down thoughts that I rarely can confess to
anyone in my life. My writing has helped me to gain confidence in personal aspects of my life.
That confidence in my writing carries over to my life and helps me communicate better with my
mom. I especially enjoyed the Writing Circle. I enjoyed hearing what my classmates had to say. I
gained a new respect for my classmates because the Writing Circle showed the commonalities
between all of us. During the class, I wanted to share what I wrote but I didn’t. I regret not
sharing what I wrote. I feel that I am close to accomplishing this goal. To better accomplish this
goal, I think I need to be willing to share my personal writing with others. I think now that I am
more comfortable with many of my classmates; I will be willing to share my writing.
Poetry is also a goal of mine. I am open to reading poetry. I admit that I do not always
understand what I am reading the first time but nevertheless I do enjoy reading poetry. When it
comes to writing poetry that is a whole different story. In the past, I have struggled to write
poetry. I overanalyzed each word or line. I constantly thought of my audience and how they
would react to my writing. I was self-conscious when it came to writing poetry. This class really
helped me to experience free verse. In the first few classes, I admit that I did not experiment
which poetry whatsoever. I was not taking risks. After a few classes, I noticed that my
classmates wrote poetry for their freewrites. I was impressed with their poetry. I too wanted to be
able to try poetry. After receiving feedback from you Dr. Shea, I realized that I needed to stop
worrying about how my poetry would be graded. So I started writing more poetry in my Writer’s
Notebook. I even submitted one of my freewrites which was poetry on the discussion board. I
admit I was nervous, but I received encouraging and constructive feedback.
I believe that you could help encourage my growth by “picking” on me more. I genuinely
do pay attention in class and thoroughly read the assigned texts. I follow along well in class, yet I
rarely volunteer my thoughts or views in class. As of right now, I would assign myself a B+ in
this course. I feel that I have room to improve. I feel that I have taken risks by writing my
feelings down and writing poetry. I have started to share my writing but I definitely could share
more. I feel that I need to work on being a researcher. I have begun to research more as a teacher
because of the WPP but I still feel that I am lost as a researcher. I feel that I ask the wrong
questions or I never have a clear focus of what I am or should be researching. I did read one of
the “A Books” early in the semester so I hope to continue working towards receiving an A this
semester. I do believe I am using my Writer’s Notebook sufficiently. After learning about the
Writer’s Notebook, I decided I want to fully take advantage of my own Writer’s Notebook. I
want my Writer’s Notebook from this class to continue with me throughout my teaching career. I
especially like the different sections because they help me stay organized. I hope in the future
this is a tool I refer back to as a teacher. I hope to continue adding to this Writer’s Notebook
throughout the remainder of the semester. I often do freewrites at home. When reading the
assigned texts, I add teacher tips that I come across. I have also added a variety of things in my
writer’s eye section including pictures, comics, poems, and even recipes.
Here are a few pages from my Writer’s Notebook:
Freewrite about my mom…
Writer’s Eye…
Writing Teacher Tips I’ve discovered through our readings!
Thank you,
Beth Yingst