A few days ago I had the opportunity to read some published writing pieces from a couple of fifth grade students. The first one I read was by a girl who had been in my Kindergarten class 6 years ago. As I began to read her writing, I was flooded with memories of her beginning the writing process as a 5 year old. I was moved by all of the growth that had occurred during all these years. Her writing was clever, had elaborate details, and all of the other ingredients we want to see in student writing.
I began to think of how I wanted to share my thoughts with her on her growth. I remembered that I have copies of her writing in my files at home, so I am planning to copy some of her Kindergarten writing as well as her current writing and give it to her with a letter. The letter will tell her how proud I am of her and how much she has grown. Then I began to think that I would begin doing that with the other students I had in previous years.
I know that she may be surprised when I give it to her, but to be completely honest, I think it will also remind me that the work is not in vain. The rewards we see now began with the work begun all those years ago.