Sunday, July 6, 2014

Teachers Write - Weekly Reflection #1

Tomorrow starts our third summer of Teachers Write! I'm beyond ecstatic to know that I get to experience the fun and learning that comes with Teachers Write all over again. If you are new to Teachers Write, you can find information over at Kate Messner's blog. Kate has been our fearless camp counselor since the very beginning, sharing great ideas and organizing authors to offer support. You can also find important links at her Teachers Write page

Here's a quick, short and sweet description of Teachers Write and then I'll explain in more detail about the posts I'll be sharing this summer. Basically, Teachers Write is an virtual summer writing camp for teachers who want to write for themselves in order to better support students with writing. Monday through Friday - each day of the week - you'll find writing-related posts at Kate Messner's blog. Each day has a different theme and you'll find all sorts of authors and publishing industry people chiming in. To see all the great authors who will be stopping by, you can click here. Be sure to shop for their books at your local Indie! On Monday's, Jo Knowles shares a warm-up exercise on her site. On Friday's, Gae Polisner hosts Friday Feedback where you can share a short piece of your writing and get feedback from Gae and other Teachers Write participants. And Sundays here at Teach Mentor Texts is where you can come to check in and share you writing goals, reflect on how writing is going for you and give and get some great cheerleading support. 

Here's a bit more about what to expect here at Teach Mentor Texts on Sundays! First of all, this is me:
...and an adorable box turtle I had the pleasure of meeting a couple weeks ago. I've been part of the Teachers Write community from the beginning. When I think back over the last two years, I am amazed at the supportive people I have met and how much I have learned not just about writing but about myself. More than anything, I have learned to think about what works for me as a writer. I've learned to try different things to be most productive in my writing. I've learned to trust myself as a writer and to be okay with doing writing my way. I've learned that I can write if I just set my mind to it.

Every Sunday this summer, I'll post a question to help us reflect on our writing experiences from the week. I'll share my thoughts and ideas and then you are welcome to share your reflections and plans for the week. I've found that checking in, making note of progress and what is working and then planning for the week to come really helps me keep myself accountable but also motivated. The whole idea is for you to pay attention to what works and doesn't work for you so that hopefully by the end, you'll develop and recognize some great writing habits that help you experience success.
Tomorrow, we'll officially kick off Teachers Write at Kate's blog but here's my first reflection question for you. We haven't written anything yet...but what brings you to Teachers Write? 
Why are you writing this summer? 

One of the best things about Teachers Write is that you can make it your own. You decide what you want to write. You decide how much you want to join in and read and take away from all the great posts that will be shared. If you are writing fiction, like me, go for it! If you are writing non-fiction, that's great, too! 

Writing is writing. You might be writing for yourself, you might be writing for others. You might never share you writing, you might be writing blog posts that will go live this summer. It all counts and you have the right to pick what you want to write. But I'm curious, why are you writing? What brings you here?

This summer with Teachers Write, my plan is to get a first draft of a young adult novel written. I would love to get 50,000 words of a first draft done but I think I'm going to make it a goal to write a minimum of 25 minutes a day and see how I  do. Why though...why do I want to write? 

I am a true true member of Nerdy Book Club and I love how writing is an extension of my passion for reading. I've gotten to a point now where I can't imagine not writing. When characters start to roll around in my head, it's like I can't help but tell their stories. They're as real to me as characters I love reading about in books. In my school district, there is (finally) an emphasis on teaching writing and I believe that Teachers Write gives me the best perspective on how to support student writers.

Please, please, please let me know if you have any questions that I can help answer! I'm excited to hear about why you are joining us for Teachers Write this summer and to hear what your plans are for your writing. Thanks for stopping in to share!

Rules for Teachers Write Sunday Check-Ins:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we do.
2. We only offer constructive criticism.
3. We are positive and encourage each other at all times.
4. We recognize and maintain this as a safe environment.

This week, in the comments section:
Why are you writing?
What is your goal(s) for Teachers Write this summer?
What are you looking forward to and planning for the week ahead?

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