Thursday, February 16, 2017

#SOL17 Challenge

One of the things I've been noticing in my teaching practice is that my conferring and small groups in writer's workshop are areas of much growth for me. And I wondered: maybe that's because I'm not writing. I love to write, but it's not something I've made a priority in my career. I've had this blog for two years now, it's purpose being a tool for reflection on my practice, but I haven't posted in 18 months. Is my lack of writing - the engagement, the struggle, the highs, the lows - connected to my struggles with conferring in writer's workshop? Maybe. I keep seeing that the strongest writing teachers write. Ergo, if I write, I'll grow as a writing teacher.

To get back into the writing swing, I'm going to get uncomfortable. Cubs coach Joe Maddon said during a spring training press conference, "It's really important to become uncomfortable," Maddon said on Tuesday. "If you become comfortable, that subtracts growth from the equation. I think if you remain uncomfortable, you continue to grow, you don't become stagnant or complacent. On every level, I want us to be uncomfortable, and I think that's a really positive word."

Uncomfortable, for me, is to put myself out there and have my thoughts looked at by others. #SOL17 - the Slice of Life writing exercise taking place throughout the month of March - is just the place for me take the leap. Starting as a weekly writing challenge for teachers and students, different challenges have been created by the wonderful folks at the Two Writing Teachers blog. The challenges can be done individually or with your students! I'm choosing to join the annual March challenge as a way to grow both as a writer and as a teacher of writers. Two of the biggest challenges I foresee are the daily writing, and making sure I write while on my spring break vacation with my husband. Planning ahead will be the way I tackle those challenges.

I'm looking forward to writing every day for a month, and am grateful for my Twitter PLN, who have given me topic ideas and planning ahead tips as I attempt this challenge for the first time! This Padlet, created by Sally Donnelly, has been an invaluable tool.

So, here I go, filled with anticipation and hope, publishing this to hold myself accountable. I can't wait to see where this takes me as a writer and as a teacher!

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