Nourishing the Teacher Writer

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting Slice of Life Tuesdays. Please visit their site to read other Slices of Life.

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.

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?


  1. I wasn't sure what I was following on Twitter, but I loved all of the Tweets going by from Hicks' and Kittle's webinar tonight.

    So much change for you, Julie! I wish you all the best as you chart new territory this year.

  2. What a powerful line - "Don't should on yourself." Love this!! So right. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes on your new role!!

  3. "Don't should on yourself" - truly the best piece of advice I've heard in a while! Also, I'm glad you wrote today. You have a lovely perspective on things. As a new writing teacher, it really makes me think about my teacher writer voice and how is has changed from my student teacher writer voice.. and my aspiring teacher writer voice. Write on!

  4. Don't beat yourself up friend, You will find your new voice. Just listen :)

  5. Julie,
    Just reading your post made me want to put my fingers to the keyboard. You were right when you said, "Slice of Life is the perfect space for this reflection because this community nourishes me too." It's funny how often SOL brings me back to writing. I'm so thankful for the community and friends like you who keep me moving. This week I'll be asking myself your question, "How do you nourish the writer inside of you?"


  6. I've often thought of you during these days, Julie, wondering how you were making it with 'both' moves. They have been such big changes. So glad to hear from you again. In our family for a long, long time we've said no 'shoulda, woulda, couldas"-just like Troy's "don't should yourself". It just doesn't help at all. Good for you for finding a path & starting down it!

  7. Thank you for sharing that piece of wisdom. It made me smile too and nothing inspires me more than hearing about others feeling inspired and sharing ideas (with good ice cream as an added bonus). I can feel your energy from many miles away!

  8. Julie - You've certainly had a lot of changes and stress lately! Even good stress is stress!! So glad to hear your "voice." We definitely need to spend time with people who "get" us and replenish us. That's why I'm here right now! Ice cream helps, too. :-)

  9. Julie, glad to see you back. Yes, you have had lots of changes...but from reading your post I see that you are already moving on to the next challenge (with the help of a little chocolate, good ice cream, and conversation). You are right, we all need nourishment in our writing to keep us going and the SOL provides great food for this.

  10. What a great quote. One we really need to remember. Too many times it is should do this or that. Great reflective post.

  11. So fun to read your post. Lots of changes and challenges for you. One step at a time. Trying to figure out my writing life in retirement. I nourish the writer by reading. Still working on the writing end - challenging myself with one more post a week (for Poetry Friday).

  12. You have been going through a lot of changes in a short amount of time. I once told myself when I switched jobs to give myself 3 years to become an expert. It takes time to gain the experience and insight. I am in my 8th year teaching gifted and finally feel settled and calm.
    I'm glad to see you back on the blog. It's nice to connect with wonderful teachers.


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