Last week, I attended the Teacher's College Summer Writing Institute at Columbia University. It was an amazing experience full of learning on so many different levels! Each day was jam packed with things that I want to share with the teachers in my district. That is part of the plan, but I decided to also blog about some of it here. It may be just the next few Wednesdays or it may continue...in an effort to seek balance in my life I won't make any promises to myself or others about that.
On the first day of our time at Teacher's College, we talked about the importance of teachers being writers. The presenter said if you want your students to be writers, then you have to be a writer yourself. A real one...who writes adult things. Apparently a grocery list and a thank you note don't count.
Earlier this summer, I began journaling. I think it started because I splurged on a new set of my favorite pens. They are Frixion erasable gel pens...DREAMY. It was also an effort to help me reflect and sort through my reflections.
As a classroom teacher, I did a good job of modeling being a reader. Daily, I shared my love of books and enthusiasm for reading with students. My shelves were overflowing with stories that were inviting the little people in my room to love books as much as I do.
Modeling being an adult writer was different for me. I frequently wrote newsletters, blog posts and samples of things I wanted to model for my students. Bravely, I will admit that my students didn't really see my adult writing. Well, there wasn't much to see at the time. On the hamster wheel of life, I didn't make time to practice writing as an adult. I wrote things for other people more than I ever wrote for myself.
Now, I am on a mission to change that. Inspired by the writing workshop experts at Teacher's College, I now realize that I can jot my thoughts, release a story that I've been wanting to tell on paper, write a bit about something I learned, brainstorm my own ideas and share some of those with students. I want my students to get to know me as an adult writer. I want them to know that I'm developing my craft and bravely sharing it with the world...just like I want them to do.
Here is one of the journals that I have been filling up this summer. At times, I fill a page with things I love. Other times, I use the space to reflect on my goals. Most of the pages have lots of writing, but below you'll see a few of my brainstorming pages. Now that I'm back from Teacher's College, I'm going to attempt a story that I've been wanting to put in words.
Grab a journal or a notebook that inspires you and your favorite writing tools!
Write for yourself.
You'll be better prepared to share your love of writing with your students if you do!