Who Has Time to Write? #sol16 Day 5 of 31


Who Has Time to Write? #sol16 Day 5 of 31

March 5, 2016

On Monday, our school has a professional development day we call TTT (Teachers Teaching Teachers). Our day starts with breakfast and ends with a full faculty reflection and celebration. In between, there is a welcome, some “Ignite” sessions, Speed Geeking, and a workshop (you sign up for the workshop of your choice). After lunch, there is a block of time for “Energizers” where various activities are offered,   two round table sessions (topics determined by sign up), then another set of workshops.

This year I thought I would offer a workshop. Here was my quick write up: Who Has Time to Write? Would you go to a doctor who had read about being a doctor, but never actually used the tools before? Not likely! This workshop is for teachers who write, teachers who want to write, teachers who know that they should write and you (even if this does not yet apply to you if you have read this far). I will share some ways to get started and options for sharing your work (if you want to). If you are curious before the workshop search #EDtime2wrt on Twitter to see what some educators are up to. Bring your ideas, wonderings, and interest.

Now, here’s the thing- what was I thinking? Firstly, I am an elementary classroom teacher. Our school is a typical international school, so goes from ages 3-19, which means I have colleagues who teach at each level in a wide variety of subjects.  When I submitted my proposal it was for elementary and middle school teachers  but in the signups  high school teachers were included- that freaked me out! High school and middle school teachers are “specialists” -what on earth will they learn from me- an elementary generalist? Then there is the tiny detail that while I call myself a writer, that may be misleading. Yes, I am “published”- as in you are reading this on my blog, so I publish posts (that very few people ever read, but I do hit “publish”). Yes, I have written for The Nerdy Book Club twice and there are a few other places you could find my writing. But really, I am a writer for myself and the 20 or so students in my class each year. I am not ” a writer” who wants to write books (although there is that project that I am going to work on with a Voxer group). What I wanted to do in my workshop was to help people to see that if they write they will be better teachers for the writers in their classroom. I do not have any secret knowledge or particular skills in writing- I just think writing matters.

So now today (or more likely tomorrow) I have to put together a 45-minute workshop. Today I shopped- I bought mini “spy” notebooks, bigger notebooks, pens, stickies, markers, and more because writers love stationery, right? I credit/blame Kathleen Sokolowski and the Voxer group she started for giving me the idea that I might have something to share about writing. Now that I have put the idea forth I have to go for it (it is all made slightly more intimidating by the fact that my principal has signed up for my group- most of the other names I do not know, which means that they are MS/HS teachers from our other campus).

I think I will start with my own true confession that I am trying to be a writer, trying to live a more writerly life, trying to be a better teacher for my third graders. I will then ask the participants to tell their stories because we all have stories inside of us. I will share some resources I love, Kathleen’s post, some ideas for places to share our writing, and the Slice of Life Challenge. I may even share a picture book or two (because picture books are for everyone).

If you have ideas or resources that you think I should share, please let me know. I would be glad to know you are there with me in some way! Think of me Monday.


6 thoughts on “Who Has Time to Write? #sol16 Day 5 of 31

  1. svalter

    I wish I had something more to contribute, but it sounds like you have everything together for an absolutely amazing session! I love this idea and would love to share it with my building! Best of luck–if it’s even a fraction of what you’ve described here, it is going to be a phenomenal workshop. Please write a follow-up post to share how it goes!

  2. aileenhower

    I love the title! I might borrow it in our school. I think honesty and transparency is exactly what teachers want to learn from. I always encourage teachers to present because it’s authentic. Hope it goes well!

  3. newtreemom

    You have plenty of ideas! You will make it and it will be a great experience. I had a similar experience this school year, and it turned out so much better than I ever anticipated.

  4. franmcveigh

    Definitely have a few examples from #EdTime2Wrt and the student version as well. Being able to start with post-it size writing reduces the worry and stress of “is this writing okay?”

    I will be thinking of you on Monday! Your session will be fabulous!

  5. Elisabeth Ellington

    This sounds wonderful! Will there be writing too?? (Wasn’t sure if telling the stories was actually telling or writing). One of my favorite prompts I borrowed from Katherine Sokolowski–reading Patricia Maclachlan’s picture book, What You Know First, and writing about what we knew first. And I think your insight is absolutely on target: we are all in the process of becoming with our writing, all the time. I will also say this: I am a former high school English teacher and now a college professor, and the teachers I learn most from every single day are elementary teachers. You guys have got it going on!


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