"There isn't any secret. You sit down and you start and that's it." ~Elmore Leonard
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Slice of Life Day 1: Widening My Circles & Expanding Influence
This is my fourth or fifth time to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge, and every experience shapes my path in profound ways. Yesterday, I had the privilege of leading a professional learning session primarily focused on conquering the challenges of our Texas standardized test. This topic rarely gets me geeked-up, considering I've felt shackled by the debilitating effects of high-stakes testing for decades. However, with each teacher's head nod of solidarity and widened-eye curiosities, I felt connected to a larger purpose. As I shared about my honest struggles in the classroom, I once again realized how incredibly important the words, "me too" really are.
About a year ago, I stepped out of a classroom and took a position as a Lesson Study Facilitator/Instructional Coach our our Regional Education Service Center. Every day I've questioned whether or not it was the right decision, but I've continued to put one foot in front of another, and slowly I have found my footing. Near the conclusion of the presentation, I affirmed and empathized with the audience, reminding them that teaching kids to write well is the hardest job in the world. I shared how during the hardest, darkest days in the classroom, this community saved me. Each March when I joined the Slice of Life Challenge, I wrote alongside my kiddos, remembering why the act of putting pen to paper is so dang difficult. As the STAAR stormed raged, I found refuge on my blog. As I widen my circles and expand my influence, my hope is that at least one teacher in the room will join us on the journey this year, reshaping their writing identity and finding hope.