#sol18- March 1, 2018
March 1st is finally here and somehow I do not feel quite ready. Four years ago I decided to jump in for the first time and I invited my third graders along with me- some sliced every day!
Fast forward to year 2 and 3 and it was more or less the same- I extended an invitation and some students were regulars, while others were dabblers.
This year I feel like I may have waited too long to really introduce the challenge, but today they all drafted a slice and many published. I know that later today a few more will be added (likely from last year’s students who have been excited about slicing again).
But one student had me thinking when he asked, “It’s your fourth year and you still haven’t run out of ideas?” as we scribbled down some “back up ideas” on our March calendar. That’s when I felt unprepared. Did I have ideas? Would I have ideas? Could I really do this all 31 days? Even knowing that we have a break beginning March 23 and wifi will be iffy? Why didn’t I draft some slices to hold in reserve?
Then I reflected on my purpose. My first year my purpose was to walk the talk. If I wanted my students to be writers I had to walk in their shoes and be a writer too. What I reaped was more benefits than I could have imagined-including some connections that have developed into real friendships and a much better sense of empathy for my third grade writers. As time has gone by that has remained my primary purpose, but I have added to my hopes. I hope to help the students enjoy the feel of a wider writing community and I hope to have friends join me on this quest too. This year (as in the past) I have shared with the teachers at school information about the challenge. Last year a few in my team had their classes join in too. This year teachers in two other grade levels are jumping in too (and one colleague/friend has also committed to slicing himself). I also have a friend (and former colleague) who is up for the challenge this year for the first time (it is great to know that I can encourage her even at a distance).
So, today, as I start this challenge, I realize I am ready- I am ready for the struggle, the feeling of panic, the “help, I need an idea”, the I’m GOING to do this, the I should have, the “we are all in it together” feeling of being a part of this community of writers. I am glad we are all here! We got this! #togetherwearebetter