Practice What You Preach

Hosted by Two Writing Teachers
Hosted by Two Writing Teachers

I went to a charity concert this past Friday night called, Blank Check Project.  It was a music extravaganza organized by an elementary school music teacher who works in a district north of Chicago.  The concert was in a small town, of about 5,000 people, 92 miles south of Chicago.  This teacher grew up in this very small town.

As I sat in the audience that night it struck me that this importance we’ve placed on teachers as writers is of equal importance with all teachers.  I know….you guys have already figured this out – it’s taken me longer!  Anyway, I watched as three music teachers played their hearts out with their friends on that stage.  They were music teachers that played. They did the same things they expected of their students.  They watched intently as their maestro, a fellow musician, directed them.  They dutifully turned the sheets of music that stood perched in front of them, they moved forward to play their solos, and they bowed to the audience after each performance.

On the inside, I was guessing that these teachers were feeling emotions very much like those of their students on concert day.  Butterflies, nerves, excitement, adrenalin.  In fact, these teachers could connect to everything their students experience related to playing an instrument with other musicians on concert day because they live it too – on a regular basis!

A teacher practicing the craft that they are teaching to others is important, most definitely.  However, what struck me as more important was the idea that the craft that these teachers teach others – is their passion.  That’s what translates to students.  I understand that we can’t have a passion for every single subject we teach.  But, we can convey our passion for learning.  Our excitement for discovering new things.  Our drive to know more about the world around us.  And, when it comes to the music teacher….I could see these three music teachers up on that stage Friday night doing what they LOVE to do.  Lucky teachers.  Lucky students.


Let’s Make a Word List!


I’ve had major writers block ever since March ended and we’ve gone to writing once a week.  This has taught me so much about what we could put our students through if we don’t let them write every day!

I still mutter to myself, “I should write about that”  -but then I don’t.  I don’t know why.  Have I been too busy?  Have I been uninspired?  Tired?  I guess it’s been a little bit of everything.  I did have the pleasure of spending time with 2nd graders and their teachers today.  One of the entries they made in their writers notebook was a list of all the words that go with their topic.  I thought that sounded fun – so as I look out my window – here goes…..

Sunset – sun, colors, sky, reflection, fading, clouds, glowing, shining, breathtaking, nighttime, magnificent, twilight, days end, sleep, birds singing, new day,

That wasn’t as easy as it sounds.  I actually enlisted the help of a friend.  I watched as kids were asked to do this today and now I know they should be paired with a buddy to brainstorm words together. It was hard -at first.  Then it got much easier as I was able to talk about it.

I ended my list with a comma so I can add to it…….one day when I’m not so busy!