“When we can build on the things that kids are trying to do or are almost doing, their energy for writing goes up.”
We recently had the chance to sit down with Ruth Ayres, author of Celebrating Writers, to talk about her new book and the impact it’s been having on how teachers approach their day in the classroom. Ruth is also excited about a new feature on own blog, Ruth Ayres Writes, where teachers can share the small ways they brought celebrations into their classrooms. Make sure to check it out every Saturday and share your celebration with a community of teachers and writers.
We wrapped up our week-long blog tour for Ruth Ayres’ new book Celebrating Writers. Here are some highlights from the reviews of the book and the interviews with Ruth:
“It is a hard time to stay grounded in teaching–to continue to keep our classrooms joyful places for children. It is easy to lose energy and to fall back on practices that don’t match what we know about children or about learning. But Ruth’s work always gives me the confidence and energy I need to stick with what I know is right. She understands children and writing and teachers and she celebrates every piece of the learning process, especially the messy ones!”
“I think when teachers are writers themselves they realize the importance of genuine celebration. It doesn’t need to be grandiose and it doesn’t have to include forced feedback, rather celebration is the natural outcome of being in a writing community. When we are writers working alongside other writers, we understand how celebration is fuel and we are positioned to make it an integral part of our writing workshops.”
“The same is true in our classrooms. There are many things we cannot control. We cannot control educational mandates. We cannot control fathers drinking and mothers leaving. We cannot control standardized writing assessments.
But we can choose joy.
This is the heart of celebration. We choose joy about the excess periods in a student’s writing, because a month ago there were none. We choose joy about the three meager lines of writing, because yesterday there were crushed pencil points and tears. We choose joy about the misspellings, because all of the sight words are accurate.”
“No matter your grade level, if you are teacher working alongside writers, you’ll want to read this book. Ruth’s book had me taking notes and planning changes for our workshop – changes to bring joy into the time we work as writers.”
“This is the brilliance in Ruth’s work. She will cause you to see the daily opportunities for celebrations. These opportunities will bond you closer to your students and make you all grow as a result. There is no question in my mind that I am a better person every day that I read Ruth’s blogs. I am also a better teacher as a result of her blogs and this beautiful book. I highly recommend it.”
“Living the life of a writer—writing every day—is hard work. As humans, we look for ease and comfort. Writing doesn’t encompass either of these things. So if we’re going to stick with it, even on the hard days, there has to be a bigger reason than because the teacher says so or because I’m going to publish.”
We are very excited to kick off our week-long blog tour for Ruth Ayres’ new book, Celebrating Writers. And we are especially excited to be kicking it off with a lovely interview by another Stenhouse gem, Franki Sibberson. Visit Franki’s blog today for insights into the book and be sure to ask questions or leave a comment to be entered to win a free Stenhouse book!
Here is what Franki has to say about Ruth and her writing:
Ruth’s writing (on her blog and in her books) have been a huge inspiration to me over the last few years. It is a hard time to stay grounded in teaching–to continue to keep our classrooms joyful places for children. It is easy to lose energy and to fall back on practices that don’t match what we know about children or about learning. But Ruth’s work always gives me the confidence and energy I need to stick with what I know is right. She understands children and writing and teachers and she celebrates every piece of the learning process, especially the messy ones!
Follow the blog tour all week at these outstanding education blogs: