Hello to all of you, I just had to share this good, no, great news!
In my kids' elementary school, I signed up to be a UIL (University Interscholastic League) coach for the Ready Writing category. This is basically a category where you are asked to write a whole article, letter, or essay out of two prompts to choose from, as long as you want. Well, I was given the 3rd grade level team and I started out with 3 kids, one boy, two girls. During a few weeks, schedule conflicts resulted in one contender to bring to the competition, the most shy out of the three, but I didn't let that stop me from teaching them what I've learned from my own English teachers, and the techniques that I've used to critique my children's school papers.
The day of the UIL competition, held at a local middle school, we sat next to another team of three "well prepared" bubbly girls, a coach with a Master's degree in English, coming from a school that have sponsored and competed consecutively for this category. My pupil and I felt a little bummed but I ensured her that what we've done is just as effective as what the other coach was reviewing with her team. There were 2 other schools that competed with multiple people in their team, and their coaching packets were thicker than my arm's vertical profile!
I felt very disadvantaged as a coach, we had only 30-minute meets, two sheets of paper of rules and very simple prompts to go by. But I didn't let on to my pupil. I just told her to do her best, write about what she knows, write until she feels that her story is finished, make it interesting and most of all, have fun writing! Even after all the competitors lined up to leave into their respective rooms, and the coaches or parents can come back, I promised her that I'll stay to support her. Yes, I stayed behind to inquire of how the other schools "prepared" for this category. As suspected, we had barely 10% of what they had to work with. All I had with me was my purse! (I was screaming, "yikes!" in my head while I talked with these coaches, particularly the one from Pennsylvania with a Master's degree in English. I thought I was gonna faint!)
Well, each participant from every category gets ribbons, and medals for those that won from their respective categories- done in their respective schools a few days after getting the results. I was supposed to be there since I was a coach, but Ian is very sick so I had to miss it. My pupil's mom attended for the both of us. This is what she emailed me a few minutes ago:
Carolyn, you won't believe it!!!!! Megan won FIRST place!!!!!!
Thank you so much for all your great coaching!!! We had several students win up to 6th place, but I think Meg's the only one who got first from our school!!
Isn't that amazing?! Megan worked so hard to practice all the techniques I showed her, both during our meets and at home. Plus, she truly loves to write about anything, so coupled with the stress of competition, her true level in this talent shone brightly and blew away the judges! Yay, Megan!!!
I'll post her picture (with me, of course) soon!
Thanks for reading; hope to hear from all of you soon!