March SOL Challenge #13
Last night I shared with our Board of Education at their monthly meeting that 32 of our staff members are participating in the Slice of Life March Challenge. I talked about the need, the pull, the urgency we in this group realize in our writing. That it is without a doubt the most important thing a teacher of writing must do. To write. Our community includes 2 principals, a Dean and a Business Manager….yes! A Business Manager. We have also adopted a fellow writer “frolleague” from Denver as one of our own. I felt so proud.
I have been paying close attention to Stacey’s daily “Be Inspired” section on the TWT blog this month. I was particularly excited today as it features one of those 32 educators in my district: Brighid “Sneezy Knees” Kitchen. Brighid’s writing deserves to be spotlighted, so I surely wasn’t surprised to see that Stacey highlighted her today. I am amazed on a daily basis when I read the writing of my fellow colleagues. The stories they tell. The craft they use to convey their story.
Katie shared her writing life as a young child in school. The teacher who showed her the power she had within to tell her story through writing. Angela shared a piece of her daughter’s writing that made everyone in her family laugh. Writing is valued in her home. Dana shared her fears about never finding the perfect home for her girls to grow up in. We shared in her excitement when the perfect house was found. Michelle shared her pride as a mother when her son decided he should shave his head to show unity and support for his friend who lost his brother to cancer. We reveled in her success. Susan shared her life growing up surrounded by music and why that has been so important in her life. Many of us could connect to her story. Brighid shared her hilarious perspective on the day she cut her son’s hair. We appreciated the humor, as well as the poignant moments in her story.
The list goes on and on and on. Countless mother’s who struggle with balancing home and career. The love they have for their children and for their students is unparalleled. They share their inner most thinking with us. They grapple with these heart wrenching situations and they write to figure things out. We are allowed to look in. We comment and encourage. We hug. And, we write with them. Their stories become our stories. One fellow slicer said, “Whenever I see a teacher in the hallway that I know is slicing it’s like I see all of their stories hovering over their head.” We know each other on a human level now. We are more than that teacher who teaches down the hall or across town from me. We are connected.
In addition to the mothers, we hear from the daughters, the educators, the wives, the sisters, the friends. We write it down so we can know what we think and what we believe. We learn that we think and believe very much like that of our colleagues. People we have worked with for many years. We have the same struggles. The same celebrations. The same silly moments. The same hopes and dreams. Thirty two writers. A melting pot of thirty two stories to tell.
We are planning a writing celebration this coming April. The members of our Board of Education were beaming as I spoke to them about our resident authors. As I spoke I looked out into the audience and met the eyes of my fellow writers. Acknowledging the importance. Feeling validated. Yes, we will celebrate our 32 writers. I feel so proud to belong to this group. We are forever changed.