I was reading through more of The Writing Workshop today and I had an A-Ha Moment. No, it did not include me breaking out into the chorus of Take On Me (bonus points if you have any idea who or what I'm talking about with that corny little pun). I was reading about the first two days of a writing workshop, when something caught my eye, and flicked on my little lightbulb. This sentence: "Find a seat and write with your students." 8 words of brilliance. Jill Warren, one of my favorite professors, often repeated a similar mantra: "If you're not modeling, you're not teaching!!" These two concepts go hand in hand. Modeling what you're trying to teach your students is key for them to understand what you expect. Fletcher and Portalupi say that the powerful image of a grown up writing sets a serious tone. It makes the students understand that you mean business!
I also like the idea of sharing your own writing with your students, especially in the middle of the process. I think it shows students that all writers go through a process from beginning idea to publication. Showing students some of your own personal work will make them feel more comfortable with sharing their own pieces of writing.
I never would have thought that such a simple act could have such an effect on the tone of the workshop, or on the students' work. File this one away in "Use for Future Classrooms!"