Reflections from a Writer

Final SOL #31

Hosted by Two Writing Teachers
Hosted by Two Writing Teachers

Wow.  I never, ever, ever thought I would call myself a writer.  I have learned so much about myself over the past 31 days…and I’ve done it with a lot of help from my friends.

I have been so impressed with some of our youngest fellow slicers; the students.  I cannot even imagine putting myself out there, in this way, when I was a teenager.  I am so pleased they have teachers who are willing to put in the extra time that it took to set up a class blog.  They probably had to give explicit directions to their students to ensure public safety on the Internet.  LOTS of extra teaching on that subject!  These kids and teachers are amazing.

I was also thrilled that Ralph Fletcher wrote a guest post on the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Everyone in my district loves Ralph’s writing – teachers and students alike!  Ralph’s post spoke directly to me.  He quoted Don Graves; “…Good teaching in the Language Arts starts with a teacher’s own literacy.  He fervently believed that L.A. teachers must be readers and writers.”  To that I say….YES!   Nineteen of us in my district have taken on this challenge.  Many of us have discovered that we have the stamina and the drive to get in there and write every single day.  Some thought they couldn’t do it.  Some thought they might be laughed at.  Some thought they had nothing to write about; no stories.  Some thought poetry was out of reach for them in their writing (me).  Some couldn’t wait to get started!  It didn’t matter at which point we began….we are all ending at the same place today.

I have talked with my colleagues about how this challenge has changed them.  More importantly, I have read my colleagues’ writing and I see, through their words, how they have grown, and become confident writers.  I appreciate how they’ve brought this learning to the students they teach.  We will all be richer for their learning.

The pride I feel is overwhelming.  We are forever changed.  We are joined together as a group of writers and we will always remember March 2013 as the month that we became full fledged writers.  A funny aside….one of my colleagues told me…”I knew you could write good memos, but I didn’t know you were so creative!”  Thank Goodness I will be remembered for writing more than just good memos 🙂

A quote from Ralph’s new book…”Keep listening.  Keep your radar out.  Take everything, because it is matter for your work.  No detail is too small.”  Mary Tallmountain. 

We did it!

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13 thoughts on “Reflections from a Writer

  1. i think is is awesome that you had nineteen colleagues join together in this challenge. What a bonding experience it must be. People just don’t understand until they’ve been there with you in the trenches. Congratulations!

  2. This has been a life changing experience….I will never forget standing in the middle of field on Easter Sunday posting from my phone……that is a true love for writing…thank you and Dana for giving us this opportunity…..and congrats! We did it!!!

  3. What a wonderful way to sum up a wonderful – and career chaning – experience. Last year I did not think I could write every day – this year, I had so many things to choose from because my own perspective has changed. I have enjoyed sharing this experience with you – see you on Tuesday!

  4. Carrie, I couldn’t agree more. We are writers. We are a community of writers. I feel like we are connected in a different way now. We know more about each other because we wrote together, supported each other, and encouraged each other. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I am very grateful that I attended that informational meeting on how to make myself a better a writing teacher. I’m grateful too that I have such an inspirational literacy coach. I was telling my cousin’s wife about our writing challenge (she is an English teacher at Bremen) and after I stated the first line “We started our own blogs … ” she stopped, sighed, tilted her head to the right, and said “Oh, you guys are awesome? I wish we were awesome.” We are awesome! Awesome writers. So glad I participated. So worth the time. So worth it.

  5. I second that! So worth it. 🙂 I think I may just feel a little lost tomorrow.. not having to post.. or respond. How lonely will my Reader feed be? Poor guy. Well, there are always the archives I guess! I mean it… I think I have written this about 15-20 times today already- but this whole experience has been amazing- you know it, I know it.. we all know it. I’m looking forward to discussing it all and processing the experience with everyone. Talk about how we can implement all the rich lessons we’ve gained in our classrooms …and all that good stuff! 🙂 Thank you Carrie!!

  6. I have to chime in with the awesomeness of this. Ditto, ditto, and ditto. We are such a community and it’s so heartwarming to see everyone through this lens of writing. I can only imagine what it can do for our students.

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