Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm Back! SOLC Day 1

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!


  1. Way to go! Though knowing you, it seems hard to imagine that you have "lost your voice" ... ever. Looking forward to reading what you have to say.

  2. Welcome aboard! Many of the reasons you shared were exactly whu I began blogging and slicing myself. This is a wonderful opportunity to practice the craft you teach.

  3. Kelli, I'm so glad you took the leap into blogging! You will LOVE the Slice of Life community -- it's so supportive and encouraging! I love your line about how you "lose a little of yourself each day". So powerful, and I feel exactly the same way. Now that I've been blogging, I feel like I'm re-gaining my reading/writing self, and it's amazing. I hope you find that the same happens to you! (P.S. It was fun seeing you at the Lit Conference. I wish I could've talked to you more there. Your classroom was always one of my favorites to come into because it was so welcoming and full of excitement about learning!)

  4. Wow, I can really relate to your story. When you leave a piece of your "life rituals" behind, there is an empty space. I set writing aside for years too. I have finally figured out that there are a few rituals that I have to include in my day, or I get lost in all the other busyness. Reading, writing, creativity, and prayer are all things that I need to attend to. I am a fourth grade teacher and this is my first shot at the challenge. I look forward to reading more of your stories.

  5. I love, love, love your post! As of late, you are describing the kind of writing life I have been leading - one of necessity when I needed to model for students. I want to write for passion; not because I have to, but because I need to. Your post says it so well. I'm thrilled we'll be doing the Challenge together.

  6. I love your line - I begin my journey back home as a writer! I created my blog, Pleasures from the Page, to celebrate reading. Writing is much more difficult for me. I'm hoping this challenge will be a pathway to discovering joy on the page through writing.