Recently I was working with colleagues to present a workshop titled, “Teacher as Writer.” The work for this session began as a result of one teacher at one of our elementary schools. A few years ago, Dawn decided that she wanted to read Joy Write by Ralph Fletcher with a group of like-minded colleagues (colleagues who also believed in the power of writing – to make them better people and better teachers). Dawn reached out to her own school and then reached out across the football field that separates our schools to invite more colleagues to join this study.
The group met three or four times across that summer. We gathered in Dawn’s living room to discuss what we were thinking about the book. We asked questions, we imagined classroooms where kids had time for “greenbelt” writing, we imagined schools where teachers were writers. Then we spread out around the house and pool to write. Dawn provided art cards to help us sketch and write, some words to write off of, or just plain-old, wide-open choice (my personal favorite). We wrote, we drew, we wrote some more. We ended the session with some time to share.
Between sessions I really meant to do a lot of writing. At one point I set a goal to write every day, but things got busy and the writing happened, but not nearly as often as I wanted it to. I think a number of us had similar experiences. And it was at that time that we decided we had to do more….we had to hold ourselves accountable to write on a regular basis. And so we started a blog and joined the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life. That was three years ago, and we are all going strong!