Nourishing the Teacher Writer
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I've been absent from my blog. I've resisted any kind of writing. Moving from our home of 17 years and changing jobs has taken me on an emotional roller coaster ride for the last 3 weeks. Boxes needing to be unpacked permeate my life both in and out of school. In addition, moving into a new role of literacy coach and Title Reading teacher has me wondering where I fit into my school community now. I don't have 25 young learners in front of me every day. I can no longer change my lesson plans at the last minute to try out a new idea I heard about on Twitter or read on a blog. And I wonder, "What will my teacher writing voice be now that I am no longer in my own classroom?"
According to the dictionary, nourishment is needed for growth and good health. It's common knowledge that we need to eat healthy foods to keep us going. (Although chocolate has played a major role in my diet lately). In the same way, I know it's important to nourish the learner and teacher writer inside of me. Today was a day that filled me with inspiration, energy, and a desire to get back to my writing. I was surrounded by other teacher writers, both in person and virtually. There's something about hanging out with others who share your passion and "get you." We need those people in our lives to help us move forward when we get stuck.
Tonight I was fortunate to participate in a webinar with Troy Hicks and Penny Kittle. Troy said something that will stick with me (and it made me smile). He said, "Don't should on yourself," in reference to holding yourself to what you think you should be writing. And that's exactly what the last 3 weeks has been for me: "I should get up early and write." "I should go back to that email and review the feedback and start over again with my draft." "I should post on my blog." I should, I should, I should.
Earlier this afternoon, I spent an hour with a friend who has also changed roles at her school. We bounced ideas off each other, shared our thinking and ate really good ice cream. Good conversation and good ice cream: what more could you want, right? We're committed to meeting every few weeks to keep the conversation going.
So, for tonight, it feels good to return to my blog. Slice of Life is the perfect space for this reflection because this community nourishes me too. I've missed reading and commenting on what's going on in others' lives.
I'm ready to jump back in and work on some challenging writing, do some deep thinking, and play around with some other ideas.
How do you nourish the writer inside of you?