Blogging A to Z April Challenge: 04/06/2020: D

D: Diary Entries

I guess I am what you would call “middle aged”. When I was young the big thing to do, at least as a girl, was to keep a diary. The little diary I had was the one with the tiny lock and key, you know, the key that you always lost and just had to stick a bobby-pin into the lock to open. The idea of keeping a diary is a great idea but many people don’t do it.  

When kids are in public schools, many of them are required to keep daily journals. This is a sort of diary, just named something else. In many of the schools I have taught there has been a set time to journal. Students are asked to write either about a prompt or about their day. Maybe calling it a journal is more up to date than a diary.  

One of the pieces of a diary is to have a place to write your thoughts and get them out of your head. I have often heard people say that they write in their diary but rip it out days later because they never want to read it again! That is okay too. The point is to process the thoughts in your head, not keep them bottled up.  

So, what is my point about diary entries? Well, for one thing, during this pandemic it would be very useful for students of any age to write their thoughts about what is going on. Yes, we will remember most of it in ten years or 15 years but if it is written, nothing is left out. As time goes on, we forget the little things. We forget that on this date New York still had the most cases of COVID-19. We might forget the name of our favorite news anchor. What about the shows you watch to get your mind OFF COVID-19? 

The one nice thing about diaries or journaling is that spelling is not checked, and grammar isn’t necessarily an issue. You write what is in your head, period. This takes a lot of pressure off reluctant writers. They can vow to keep their pages private, in which case they may write even more than others. If possible, explain to students that you may go back and reread something and it may seem silly now that you’re not mad, for example, but if you just keep that page it is a reminder later in life about yourself.  

As an educator I push writing. Not because it is somehow the most important thing to do, but it is the only way to keep a record of our past. Imagine if Anne Frank never kept a diary! How would we have ever known that Captain Scott wanted to reach the North Pole in the early 1900’s if he hadn’t kept a journal?   

Finally, journaling or writing in a diary should be fun and relaxing. That is why we don’t go back and check our spelling or grammar. It is like a best friend to talk to or some other confidante. You can buy a journal or make one yourself. Making a journal with your own cover can be a fun way to personalize your belonging. On one hand it is to talk about what you are holding in your head, but it can also just be a talking place. Keep it casual and write your own history! 

©2020 CBialczak Education

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