Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Little Help From Our Friends #SOL15






I've already erased and rewritten this introduction about ten times. I've changed my title, picked three different topics, and deleted a ton of text. I feel like my one of my fourth graders, paralyzed with fear and unable to execute the task. Thank goodness there's not an impatient teacher standing behind me demanding that I keep my pencil moving. 

It has been said that writing is the greatest orchestration of the mind. According to Bloom's Taxonomy, it's the highest level of thought because it requires evaluation and creation. The brutal work of composition requires grit, determination, and perseverance. When we are forced to sit down and face the blank page ourselves, we realize how terrifying it is to share our thoughts with the world. Someone, somewhere might read this. They might judge us and critique us. What if they think our writing stinks? What if we've chosen to write about something that doesn't matter?

About three years ago, I decided to participate in my first Slice of Life Challenge. I had discovered this writing community through Twitter, and I was living through one of the toughest seasons of my professional life. I'd taken a position as an instructional coach at a highly dysfunctional school, and every day I felt like I was drowning. My personal journal became the dumping ground for all my caustic thoughts, and after calling deep on my courage, I decided I would move my writing from the safety of a diary to the world wide web. This bold, terrifying move opened doors to new relationships, expanded my PLN exponentially, and buoyed my spirits. It helped me realize I needed to return to the classroom and warrior on as a 4th grade writing teacher. 

Fast forward a few years, and I am now back in in the trenches, attempting to prepare young authors for a state test I despise. Thanks to our district language arts coordinator, I've been privileged to be a part of workshop series titled Do The Write Thing. Presenting alongside colleagues who share similar philosophies and passions, we have gathered writing teachers from across our district to dialogue, problem solve, and share our experience, strength, and hope. For the first time in years, I haven't felt alone in the struggle. 

On the Eve of the S.O.L challenge, I couldn't decide if I would commit to writing for thirty one days straight again. I emailed this team of dedicated teachers, and a few of them agreed to join the journey. Their willingness to wade into the deep end with me spurred me on, and as I draw my first SOL post to a close, I am thankful I chose to write. My tribe continues to enlarge, and I am constantly reminded how important it is to be surrounded by like-minded educators. 

I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends . . .

And now I invite a few more fellow bloggers along for the ride. Mrs. Barnes, Miss Natherson, and Mrs. Ware, would you like to join in on the fun? Lets be slicers together!

General Information About the Challenge
Sign Up Form
Where to Post Your First SOL
Tips and Suggestions


8 comments:

  1. Sounds like we had some similar thoughts! Thanks for the challenge...

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    1. You are very welcome. I'm more excited about the SOL this year than I was in the past because I have real-life friends I get to write alongside. Thanks for swinging by!

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  2. So glad to see you in the challenge and that you got some face to face friends to join in! Lucky you.

    Make sure you leave comments for slicers on their blogs rather than in the TWT comments. Thanks!

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    1. Julieanne,

      Thanks for the feedback. I will reply to the slicers on their blog posts from this point forward. I'm still learning the ropes. It's been a few years since I participated, and I'm thrilled to be back. Thanks for hosting and moderating this amazing experience.

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  3. So glad you joined the challenge! Great post. "to dialogue, problem solve, and share our experience, strength, and hope." I wish we had more time to do this at my school as well!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. We've enjoyed the sessions, and it's nice to know we aren't rowing the boat alone. Time is always our greatest commodity.

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  4. I am so excited about this journey because you encourage me to be better and continue to question and learn!! Thanks for being you and thank you for the email!

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  5. It seems as if you are daring greatly on multiple fronts - forging ahead into the writing challenge, and creating the learning environment you know to be best for your students. I applaud your forays into the arena, and your courage to wrestle for your convictions. I look forward to reading as you strive valiantly.

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