Monday, October 21, 2013

Celebrating Writing - Slice of Life

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Two Writing Teachers

Five years ago I was not a writer. Sure I wrote Facebook posts and emails, but that was about the extent of it. I’m not sure when it was that I decided that I needed to be a writer to teach writing, but it has been in the last five years and it is one of the best decisions I've made.
Best kind of PD - hosting in your PJs. 

Monday my class and I celebrated the National Day on Writing. I shared with them the Twitter chat I had hosted the night before. I told them how I was nervous before it started – to host a chat AND host it with someone I greatly admire - the butterflies in my stomach were flying. I shared with them the poem I wrote to get rid of some of those nerves. And then I shared with them my blog post for Monday.

As I spoke I told them how sometimes – a lot of times – I sit down to write and have NO IDEA what is going to come, I just trust that something will. That sometimes what comes out is complete crap – and it needs to get out. But I left them with this tweet from Penny Kittle:

I looked out at those earnest fifth grade faces. I saw the heads nodding and knew some of them were hearing me. I hope to reach them all before the end of the year.

As we were wrapping it up on the carpet Riley looked at me and said the words I dread right now, “So, how’s your book going.”

Kids stopped, they looked at me. I stammered and then said, “Not great. I’m stuck and have stopped writing it.”

A quiet voice to my right spoke up, “Well, what are you waiting for?”

Ugh. Right to the heart. Maybe I’ll get an answer for that later. Right now I will continue to put pen to paper and lose myself to the writing. Five years later, it is what I know.


  1. What is that saying, BIC, I think it's called. Maybe that's where the pen got its name? Butt In Chair (with pen?). Best wishes & write on! Your students are wise beyond their years!

  2. Our students truly serve as our greatest inspiration! Love that they are pushing you forward, and that you have such a great relationship with them. I always find that entire posts come to me as I'm cleaning house-- especially dishes! I guess it's the mundane tasks that get the brain going.
    Enjoyed the read!

  3. I actually followed the chat last night...first time for everything! Now I just have to figure out the rest of it! A lot of inspiration and great thoughts! Thanks for hosting it. I am confident you will get that book done...and I for one, can't wait!

  4. You inspire me!!!! I need to join twitter!

  5. Your students are so lucky to have a reflective, honest teacher-writer!

    As you know, I missed the chat the other night. Thanks for sharing Penny's Tweet. It's a keeper!

  6. Thank you for the inspiring Twitter chat - I wasn't able to join in , but caught up with the discussion through Storify.

  7. OOOH, I missed the chat! I have not been on twitter as much. Guess I should have been. I LOVE that your class is cheering on your book--that's great pressure and motivation.

  8. Boy, your kids sure do pay attention to their very smart teacher! "What are you waiting for?" Sure, life is busy and there is always an excuse, but some days we need that reminder, even if it's from a 5th grader! :) Thanks for sharing and I'm SO glad you continue to write and tell your story.


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