Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Celebrating a Goal Achieved!

In March, I was knee deep in the slice of life challenge, when I saw a post on Instagram about #the100dayproject. It was shared by a favorite author of mine, Elle Luna. 
Created by Elle Luna

I was teaching two different classes, writing blog posts every day, reading and commenting on student blog posts too, and something inside of me nudged me to take on this project. 
Created by Elle Luna
Now, I had to decide what I should do...I wish I'd documented my thought process somewhere, but for some reason, I thought of writing a poem a day using my pink typewriter. You can read about my first day here

I started the challenge on April 1st. I completed the challenge and shared my 100th poem yesterday. What did I learn? 

  • Doing something for 100 days truly built a habit. 
  • Showing up on days I didn't feel like it, was hard.
  • Sharing on days when I knew my poem was bad, humbled me.
  • I enjoyed the quiet every day when I wrote.
  • I love tap of my typewriter.
  • I found confidence every day I showed up to the page.
  • Many people enjoyed my poems. 

I'd do it again...in a minute. The process was powerful. I learned a lot. I'm grateful that I was able to complete this. On to another challenge...
Created by Elle Luna


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Walking into Writing

I set some goals for myself this summer. I shared them here, but I've revised them. My goals are simple for this summer:
1. Walk
2. Write
3. Clean
4. Read
5. Swim

The first goal is the one I'd like to talk about. I have a confession...I'm a relatively sedentary person. The things I love to do include sitting: writing and reading. It's not good. During this past school year, a friend nudged me to accompany her after school on walks. I did and look where I am now. School has been out since June 15th. Of the sixteen weekdays, I've walked fourteen of them: missed one for rain and one for not feeling well. 

My day starts with the walk. Sometimes I walk with a friend and other days I walk alone...in silence or accompanied by some of my favorite tunes...in the cool mornings or in the extreme heat. Regardless, I lace up my sneakers and I walk. 

How has this changed me? I feel better. I have energy. My day begins with something already accomplished. Feeling more motivated, I get more done and I am happier.

Walking has helped me as a writer too. I work out ideas as I walk. This morning, I wrote my typewriter poem, in my head, on my walk. (I jotted it down in my note app, so I could type it later.) 

Walking calms me and gives me confidence. This helps when I sit down to write. As writers, we often doubt ourselves. I often have the, "I'm not good enough!" imposter syndrome worry. Walking calms that in me. I don't know why. I don't understand it. (I don't even care why!) 

Walking has motivated me to clean and purge and organize. I'm almost done with my house and the garage is next. Taking a walk can be overwhelming to a sedentary person like me. It's all about one step at a time...hmmm, just like writing. One word after another. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Where Have I Been?

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've blogged here. This space is special to me. I'm sorry I've been gone so long. Where have I been? 

I've been packing up and ending the inaugural year at my brand new middle school. It was a wonderful year!

I've been walking. Every day. Incorporating walking into my daily routine has been so worth it. I feel more energy. I feel inspired by being outside. I enjoy chatting with a friend or the silence on my own. 

I've been writing...mostly typewriter poetry. I took on #the100daychallenge and decided to write a poem a day for 100 days. Currently, I'm on day 87. 

I've been reading. I'm in the midst of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and I'm reading Innovator's Mindset for school. That doesn't include the news and poetry I read daily.

Finally, I've been cleaning and organizing and purging. Taking it shelf by shelf, room by room...and really being mindful of what stays and what goes. 

I'm grateful for this community. You are always here, whether I show up or not. I will do better. I will show up to this place...the place that inspired so much of my writing life. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

47 Days of Summer

This school year is quickly approaching its end. (I'm sad about that as it's been one of the best years for me as a teacher!)  I've found it helpful to make plans for the summer.

With family visiting and PD sessions, I have forty-seven days this summer that are currently unplanned. What will I do with that time? There are a few things I want to develop habits by doing them every single day. 

1. Walk. I want to go on walks every day. I've already made some plans with a few people who may join me. Starting the day out with a walk is a great way to get outside and really begin my day. 

2. Swim. I love to swim. Being in water always brings me joy. I'm putting it out there. One goal is to get to the pool every single day. Again, I'm not one to spend lots of time outside and I want to change that. What's better than swimming? 

3. Read. Ok. I read. I love to read, but my pleasure reading has fallen off. Bringing a book (or my Kindle) with me to the pool will help with this goal. Audiobooks for cleaning my house and long car rides will help me here too!

4. Podcasts. This is something that I can never seem to fit into my schedule. I always pick music over podcasts. This summer, I'll really give this one a try. 

5. Writing. I want to write a complete draft of a book that I'd like to get published. I've been taking notes and researching and planning forever. It's time to dive in and just write it...write it all! 

This sounds like a lovely way to spend a summer. Five specific goals to incorporate into my days. I may have one or two more before summer begins. How will you spend your summer days? 

Thank you for reading. Please join me at Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What Brings Me Joy?

This question was posed to me by a friend a Facebook group. I decided to sit and think about it and make a list. Here's what I came up with...

After I wrote, I decided to flip back to the past week or two in my notebook to see if I'd done this recently. Look what I found...

It's a collection of posts that focus on the joy in life and the funny moments during the day.

If I were forced to pick just one thing that brings me joy, satisfaction, and engagement...it all leads back to the notebook!

Two Writing Teachers provides a space each Tuesday for slice of life posts. Please join us there!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

From Chaos to Gratitude

It's May. Chaos. Busy. Hard to catch your breath...

We are going to start state testing next week. We are working on our poetry portfolios this week. 

We are in the middle of our blog takeover at Sharing Our Notebooks this month. 

It's Teacher Appreciation Week.I've declared it Notebook Month. 

AND the year is drawing to a close.  

It's hard to stay in the moment with so much to accomplish, yet that's what I want to do. 

Savor these moments. Notice how seamlessly students are working together. Admire how they pull together in a team when one of their team members is struggling. Appreciate their time and attention and remember that they are probably feeling so many of the same things I am. 

Today, I will savor, admire, appreciate, and remember these things. Today, I am grateful to be a teacher and witness the growth of these students. I'm grateful to do this work alongside kind and funny colleagues. I'm grateful to do this work with compassionate and innovative administrators. 
In the crazy of May, I will remember to be grateful.  

Sharing this slice at the Two Writing Teachers blog today. Join us over there!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I Am Declaring this Notebook Month!

March is Slice of Life Challenge. April is Poetry Month. I am declaring May to be Notebook Month. 

The month when we reconnect with the pages of our notebooks. That's a primary goal for me this month. Get back to the notebook!

My students are reflecting and writing about themselves as notebook-ers this month because of an amazing opportunity! We...they...the sixth-graders are TAKING OVER Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's blog Sharing Our Notebooks

They have signed up voluntarily to write a blog post for every single day in May. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Today I conferenced with every single writer (again) and checked their progress.

The excitement is contagious! They can't wait! I love reading their thoughts on creating their notebook pages and their advice. My favorite part may be their author bios. These students are writers. They see themselves that way...they call themselves writers. We are all writers.  My notebook is going to be busy this month...

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for cultivating this strong and supportive community of slicers. Join us here. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Reflecting on The Hundred Day Project

I've challenged myself to participate in the hundred day challenge. One hundred days! I started on April 1st (the actual challenge began on April 3rd). Today is day twenty-four for me and I'm plugging along. 

I've decided to write a poem every day on my pink typewriter. These poems are short and simple. Sometimes they aren't very good and other days I'm really proud of them, but I'm showing up every day. I think that's the lesson...showing up every day... even when, especially when I don't have anything to say. 

That's what writing is. That's what writers do. They show up to the page every single day and write and I'll continue to do so for seventy-six more days. (That's July 1st, for those who are counting.)

Twenty-four days into the challenge, I wonder...do I regret starting this? Sometimes I wish I hadn't. Sometimes it feels like it's just one more thing until I sit down at my typewriter and I write.

Big goals are achieved by writing one little word, one little line, one little poem at a time...

I wonder how this challenge will change me. I wonder how my writing will change. I wonder what it will feel like to have one hundred poems that I wrote...I'm glad I'm doing this!

To my partner...my pink typewriter! 

Thank you to the team at Two Writing Teachers for providing this space for our slices. It's a powerful community and I'm grateful to be part of it. 
Join us, every Tuesday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Five AM Field Trip

Monday was rainy and cold and, well, it was Monday. Why was I awake and out of my house by 4:40 AM? We had a field trip to visit 94.7 Fresh FM. We were invited to be guests of "The Tommy Show".

We spent a few hours watching Tommy, Kelly, and Jen create incredible entertainment.They shared their tips and advice with the middle-schoolers. They listened. They answered questions. They treated the students with such kindness, generosity, and respect.  

Students got the opportunity to record a promo for their segment, "Can't Beat Kelly". It was amazing getting to stand back and watch these kids speak on the radio. A few students interviewed Tommy and Kelly too. 

As the morning came to an end, they decided to film some of our segments in the studio. Just watching these students grab Tommy and ask him to be in the joke of the day or asking for advice made my heart grow with pride. They had fun. They took our time here seriously and I watched them learn from the best. 

This teacher's heart is full. This day is one of those teaching days I will hold close. I loved getting to watch these students take advantage of this amazing opportunity. I am so proud of them! Here are some of my favorite moments from our time together. Enjoy!

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for the call for the slice of life posts every Tuesday. Join us here, every Tuesday.