Saturday, August 8, 2015

Walking Alongside Friends

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for the opportunity to focus on celebrations every week! September 19 will mark our 100th celebration! Please join us!

As I prepare to return for my twenty-first year as a teacher, I am taking time to reflect. Twenty-one years ago, I walked into a third grade classroom, Room 110, excited and nervous and ready to teach. I walked into that room alone armed only with my ideas. Twenty-one years later, as I walk into Room C10, I walk in with a crowd of support. I am not alone...

As I walk into my classroom,

I walk with Stacey who reminds me that I am a writer when I wonder and question myself. Her unwavering faith in me pushes me to continue when I think I can’t.
I walk with Lee Ann who inspires me to be more creative in my notebook and in my life.
I walk with Margaret who shares her creativity and poetry and her kindness.
I walk with Julieanne who always encourages me to think about things in a new way with her thoughtful words and ideas.
I walk with Tara who shares creative ideas that I borrow and use with my students.
I walk with Linda who reads everything and shares her thoughts about these books and words and ideas.
I walk with Beth who introduced me to my favorite new pens, Ener Gel!
I walk with Holly who reminds me to hold onto my faith and to make the world a better place and to share those qualities with my students.
I walk with Kathleen who lives her positive attitude in everything she writes and shares.
I walk with Ruth who celebrates and demonstrates the power of kindness and gratitude.
I walk with Leigh Anne who asks questions and reflects and shows me how to always work to improve as a teacher...and a writer.
I walk with Jennifer who shares her positivity and laughter and motivation and who invites me to be more than I think I can be.

I celebrate each one of you (and so many more that I haven’t named here). You walk with me on that first day of school and all of the days that follow. I listen to your voices when I don't know what to do and when I need support. I'm grateful that I no longer walk alone. It’s good to be surrounded by friends!

Note: The form for this post was inspired by Patrick Allen's thoughtful Facebook post to some of the greats in the world of literacy. He inspired me to think about who I carry in my heart. Here's a peek at his post...


  1. What a heartfelt thank you note to your writing community. It is wonderful to have the support of so many writing women.

  2. First of all, this post gave me goosebumps as I read each and every you wrote about these wonderful people because you have perfectly described what each one brings to the lives of so many of us. Secondly, I am honored and humbled that you included me in this list. It has been a privilege and so much fun to write, walk, read, share, and learn beside you too, my friend!!!!!! And yes I used many exclamation marks in your honor!

  3. How great to have all these terrific people walking alongside of you as you head back into the classroom this week! I missed Patrick's post-- thanks for sharing that too!

  4. I loved Patrick's post too. What a good idea to use it as a mentor text for a blog post. Thanks for walking with me into our new school year, Michelle!

  5. What an honor to be in your heart, Michelle. Sending hugs and love as you prepare for this school year. Thanks for counting me among your peeps! Right back at you!

  6. Thank you for those incredible pictures. They bring back all those who walk with us every day. So honored to have you in my heart with your enthusiasm and love of writing and teaching. Michelle, when I think of you I think color, vibrant color. Sort of like sunshine.

  7. Thanks for sharing your celebration and for teaching me a new structure to follow in my writing.
    (So I think my first line will be: I walk with Michelle...!)
    Your post reminds me of how I hang photos of Lucy Calkins and Ellin Keene and Jen Serravallo and Carl Anderson up in my classroom so they are looking at me and I look back at them to remind myself how to teach well. Your post reminds me to grow my list to include all the smart people I tweet and blog with too! I promise to share my piece after it is drafted, revised and edited!! Maybe next Saturday!

  8. Michelle,
    Very personal connection on how each of these people inspire you. Thanks for sharing how they influence your work and walk. I also appreciate how you shared the mentor text that gave you inspiration.
    Happy New Year!

  9. What a wonderful idea and a way to celebrate our friends and colleagues.

    My Celebrate Today

  10. The connections many of us have made through online blogging together are powerful. I recognize those you mentioned as part of the Two Writing Teachers family which I consider myself part of. It is a very generous and encouraging group! Thankful to read each shout out and cheer a bit! Hurrah!

  11. I love this! I like the idea of thinking of all the people that contribute to making your life/work what it is. Thanks for the great idea.

  12. Late reading-at the beach now. Your words are like a big hug, Michelle. Thank you! Best wishes for a fabulous year, & I look forward to being among those walking along with you! 😊

    1. Ha! Those ? Marks are supposed to be smiley faces! Guess it doesn't work on blogger. ( :

  13. I love this so much. I love the idea of us all walking together! Teaching has to be like that to make it work, doesn't it?! We need all the ideas, inspiration, and support we can get! ;-) I saw Patrick's post and thought it was wonderful. How wonderful that you used it as a mentor text. Thank you so much for including me. My heart is full!

  14. What a wonderful list this is. It has prompted me to begin one of my own. Congratulations on your teachiing career - I am sure you have been a source of inspiration to many children.

  15. Michelle, it was so wonderful to read your post because I can see you smiling as you write about all of these special Twitter friends that you have mentioned. Togetherness is such a fabulous word and it is made so much more special by those we walk with. I thought of you a few weeks ago when I met a young teacher who was doodling in her notebook at a conference. Her pages were filled with sketchings and notes that popped right out at me. Enjoy your time together with your friends as you walk into school.

  16. I'm honored to walk beside you as you head into a new school year. You're a teacher's teacher and I couldn't be prouder than to call you a friend.

  17. Love the way you took the piece of inspiration and turned it into a personal appreciation list. I hope that all of the people mentioned read your post.

  18. Beautiful post. Love how you said "I walk with..."


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