Day 2: The Heart of the Story

Today’s writing lesson was focused on developing more complex ideas and tips for how you can achieve a deeper level of writing. Despite the fact that I have read tip number 4 several times, I honestly had not given it a second thought until one student said something so profound that it sparked some deeper thinking of my own.

Tip # 4: “Understand that things change across a story. Characters change. People’s responses change. And those changes are the heart of the story.” 

I asked my class what they thought the heart of the story meant. “Ms. Senese, I think that the heart of the story means that it is the thing that pumps throughout the entire story.” I was taken-aback by this response and was so impressed at his ability to make a strong connection towards the overall deeper meaning, that I looked over at our instructional coach and we just sort of melted! His comment not only struck a cord with me, but he beamed with pride that he had just given such a spectacular answer!

Throughout the rest of the day, I couldn’t get his comment out of my head. It made me think about my class and our journey together. What will be the heart of our story? What is the thing that pumps throughout the story of our year together?

I began to draw so many parallels between this writing tip and the experiences I have had thus far with my students and am reminded yet again, how my students teach me just as much as I teach them. Perhaps that is the heart of our story, this mutual adoration and respect we hold for one another that allows us to grow and change alongside each other every day. There are often moments where I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be and that I have been gifted these children because for one reason or another, I was just what they needed, and the opposite holds true as well. I can say for certain that they have made me a better educator and person; children have a unique way of bringing you out of your comfort zone and pushing you to be better, even if they don’t know they are doing it.


8 thoughts on “Day 2: The Heart of the Story

  1. Holly says:

    Wow! I love it when those kinds of things happen in a classroom. When everything just comes together. The children in our lives say some of the most amazing things and have some of the deepest insights. Lucky you, lucky them! Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well crap, now I’m all teary-eyed. I was smiling at the beginning of this because I loved what J. said today. But then you went and made that jump (What will be the heart of our story? What is the thing that pumps throughout the story of our year together?) and I got goosebumps. And then… this line: Perhaps that is the heart of our story, this mutual adoration…

    Well, that’s the heart of the story for me. You’re a gift to these kids. To us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Toni I love your words, all of them, on your last paragraph of this. You said it perfectly regarding “the heart of our story” as educators!! Dana is right you are a gift to them and us!! Glad you joined us this year.. Hope hope hoping we get to keep you..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deep thoughts ruminate within kids and they just need a chance, and a safe place, to come out. I will be thinking about the ‘heart of the story’ now and wondering what pumps through it all – both in what I read and what I live. Thanks to you and your student.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, how exciting to have that impact on you. Without a doubt you are having the same impact on them. They will never forget your year together! What a fantastic metaphor for your year together!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You need to make sure your class knows those thoughts that you have. What a cool conversation that could be with them? Maybe even have them share their feelings on what makes your classroom relationship “pump.” Very cool! There’s that moment that makes what you do totally worth it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The simplicity and complexity of those words have me going, “Hmmmmmm…” I could never say it better than your student did. Those are words of great depth but simple imagery.


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