Sunday, March 02, 2008

Writing Hour

William likes to write. A lot of kids don't, but William does. And he's lucky too, because his teacher, Miss Stacy, has the class write every day. Last week, though, something strange happened. Miss Stacy got a phone call in the middle of writing hour. Her face turned a funny color, and she looked a little worried.

How could William have known that Chancellor Klein had come to visit, and that he'd chosen to observe his class? How could he know that Miss Stacy worried the Chancellor might not want to watch a bunch of kids writing? So when Miss Stacy told the class to come sit in a circle on the rug, he had no idea how cute she thought the class would look if she read them a story and had them ask questions.

"Please stop writing and come sit on the rug," said Miss Stacy.

"I'm not finished," said William.

"That's okay," she replied.

"It's not okay. I'm not finished. We always get to finish."

"Today is special," said Miss Stacy. "You can stop now and finish later."

"I'm writing until I finish," said William definitively.

No coaxing or pleading would move William, and thus, William did not move. At long last, Miss Stacy was able to persuade him to see the counselor.

"I'm gonna finish my story," he told the counselor.

"But sometimes we have to change our plans," she said.

"Maybe. But I'm not sitting on the rug till I finish my story," he told her.

The counselor let William finish his story while she called his mother. William missed the Chancellor's visit, and he missed story time too.

The counselor explained the entire situation, and asked the mother to speak to him.

"What do I need to speak to him about?" she asked. "Why couldn't Miss Stacy have let him finish his story?"

"Sometimes we have to do different things," the counselor replied.

"Listen," said the mother, "If my kid copies homework, or gets in a fight, or cuts class, you call me. I'll make sure it never happens again. But if his teacher tells him to write a story, and he wants to do it, I don't see how he's done anything wrong. I'm not going to criticize him for that. Absolutely not."

The counselor said thank you. As William was finished with his story, she sent him back to class. She wasn't exactly happy, and neither was Miss Stacy. But after he finished his story, William was very happy. It came out just the way he wanted. And both Miss Stacy and his mom said they loved it.

What more could a writer ask?
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