My fourth graders have been blogging for years, but I just never jumped in the pool with them, so to speak. This past weekend, I attended the Dublin Literacy Conference, and I had a moment of revelation--I need to write like I need air. After listening to Ruth Ayres talk about the Slice of Life challenge, I knew it was the way back. If I am going to be a writing teacher, I need to write. Not just uh-oh-I-need-a-writer’s-notebook-entry-to-show-my-class-after-recess kind of writing, but the kind that allows me to reclaim who I am.
I started writing in elementary school. I bet if I looked in my mom’s basement, I would find my first published book for the Young Author’s Conference. I wrote constantly--stories, journal entries, letters, reports, recipe books. All through elementary and middle school, I won writing contests and awards, but more importantly, my words defined who I wanted to be and who I was becoming.
Yet, as a woman, I often feel as if I lose a little bit of myself each day, as my family and career consume my day. But, listening to the presenters talk about how teachers need to read and write (I read all the time), I realized that I needed to find that voice once again. Sure, I write for my students when I model, but I never engage myself fully in the process. I fail to put myself in their shoes--where they stare at a blank notebook page or a blinking cursor and are intimidated by the emptiness of the space. I want to feel their struggles and help them see that writing is hard--for everyone. I need to fall back in love with watching my ideas take shape. Writing used to be intimately connected to my sense of self, and I miss that.
I started this blog to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge. Nothing fancy. No graphics or links yet, as I figure out the whole Blogspot thing. My blog won’t share the truths of life or any bang-up instructional strategies. But, it will focus on the joys inside and outside of my classroom. I can’t promise you that my writing will change any lives--except mine that is. Today, March 1st, I begin my journey back home as a writer.
Happy March 1st!