“I just can’t learn a second language,” he said as he rubbed his hands through his hair and stared at the chromebook screen.
“Yes, you can,” I replied automatically, then added, “and I’m here to help you. We just need to focus on one step at a time.”
Tonight I sit at the table with my son and feel distraught that he doesn’t embrace school, and learning, like I did in high school. I fret over his future and the few choices he may have because of the decisions he is making now. I look at his list of assignments and the late work that he needs to complete for multiple classes and I feel as overwhelmed as he does.
When we have author visits at school, I’m always fascinated by the authors that share that they really weren’t very good at school and that they didn’t do well. And yet here they are, successful published authors, entertaining large schools of children and seemingly enjoying their careers. These success stories permeate other books and articles that I read in all parts of my life.
I don’t predict that my son will be a successful children’s author or someone famous enough to have a book or article written about, or by, him, but the success stories give me hope. They remind me that the journey is long and takes many paths. That all is not lost for this young 15 year old with so much potential.
In high school, although I took an AP course load, I wasn’t a confident writer. I don’t remember a lot of writing instruction except for grammar lessons, I just remember challenging writing assignment after challenging writing assignment. This lack of confidence followed me into college and again although my course load was rigorous (and I majored in English!), I struggled with writing and writing confidence.
Writing professionally has taught me so much about myself as a writer and myself as an instructor of writing. This writing challenge even more so. I’ve pondered participating in the SOLC each year but the idea of starting a blog held me back: What would I write about? Do I really want people reading my writing? Can I keep up with writing each day?
But journeys are long and there are many paths. Here I am...I have a blog of my own and it has 31 posts! I’m very proud, very grateful and a little more confident. (*Fran & Joanne...although total strangers, you felt like my biggest cheerleaders with your daily responses, thank you so very much - it actually makes me a little teary!*)
My thoughts turn back to the task at hand. I remind my son to get focused on the article he’s reading and we tackle this STEM chemistry project together. Japanese homework is next.