Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Testing the water

My first blog post, seems like a momentous occasion. I remember attending an amazing conference last summer and my friend, Tony, said to me, “When are you going to start a blog?” At the time, I dismissed the notion with the thought that I don’t have time.

And truly, who does? Many teachers are busy, swamped in fact. We have a job that is much more than 40 hours a week. We have families. And often we have commitments beyond that, in my case grad school. (Seriously? What the heck was I thinking?) Busy doesn’t begin to describe it. So no, I don’t have time for a blog.

Bring in another conference, NCTE. I attended it for the first time this past week. I met up with many friends, teachers and authors I have gotten to know on Twitter. Frequently the conversation we had turned to them asking me, “What are you writing?” My reply, “Umm…”

What am I writing? For the longest time, nothing. I consider myself a voracious reader. That is my identity. But, if I’m being perfectly candid here, reading is natural for me. I do not remember a time I couldn’t escape into my books. Writing is another story. During lunch with my friend Donalyn she mentioned the difficulty with writing. The fear, the vulnerability. You are putting yourself out there. Letting others judge you. This is what scares me.

Meeting on Saturday night of the conference I talked to another friend, Colby. I asked him what he took away from this conference, this amazing experience. In our discussion I discovered we both coming to the same realization, we need to write. You can read his thoughts here:

Sharpread

Even further, during a session with many amazing teachers, Ruth Ayers relayed this message

Before I was a person who wrote I didn't know what kids felt when they couldn't write.

Holy moly, that statement whirled around my brain. By being a reader, I am a better teacher of reading. Why didn’t I think that about writing? I need to write. To know the fear of the blank page. The immobilizing feeling of sharing your writing with a group.

So here I am, writing. I’m trying out writing a book, but that is a long way off. But on a more regular basis, I’m writing here. What will this place be? I envision it to be a space to reflect. On teaching practices in reading and writing. On the books I am reading. On relationships in our classroom. Come on in. Pull up a chair, a mug of tea, a book, and let’s get to know each other.

 
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