Sunday, July 9, 2017

Teachers Write 2017 - Stepping Into the Arena

Hello writers!

Welcome (or welcome back) to Teachers Write!

I'm sooooooo excited!
Please give yourself a big round of applause just for being here. I’ve had many conversations about teaching writing and every one comes back to the importance of a teacher who writes. 
A teacher who writes can better create an authentic writing workshop for students, better confer with students, better empathize with students as they navigate the not-so-linear process of writing. 

In her book Rising Strong, BrenĂ© Brown talks about people who she’s willing to take feedback from. She says, “For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” 
It applies so perfectly to writing. If we hope to inspire student writers, shouldn’t be we be in the arena with them? 

Writing seemed easy to me until I started to really focus on writing regularly. Honestly, it still gets harder every time I do it…but that’s why it so important for us to be in the arena. 

Writers in the arena might say:
I don’t know what to write about. 
No one wants to read what I have to say.
I’m too afraid to start.
I want it to be perfect so I don’t get anywhere.
I’m overthinking everything. 
I don’t know, am I a plotter or a pantser? Can I be both?
I think I’m making this better…but I’m not sure.
I’m scared to share my writing.
None of these words are good.
None of these words are good at all. 
This is all junk. It doesn't even make sense.
I give up.
If I have to revise this one more time I’ll poke my eyes out.
I might as well scrap this whole thing and start over.
Why did I think I could do this?
Did I really think writing was easy?!?!

It sometimes it might feel like this...

Guess what? That’s what it means to be in the arena. Ruth Ayres, in her book Celebrating Writers, shares how important it is to celebrate every step in the process. I’m so glad you are here for Teachers Write and I’d like to ask you to celebrate being a teacher who cares enough to get in the arena. I’m in the arena with you and our Sunday Check-Ins are a way to celebrate the fact that we are in the arena together....even when it means getting our asses kicked.


I wish I could say it’ll be easy…the truth is, it will be work. But if you come to Teachers Write with the mindset that it’s going to be work, that it might kick your ass, and you’re ready for it, then it can be fun. I promise it’ll be worth it. You’ll learn from the experience. And then you’ll be able to take your knowledge back to students and that's when the real magic happens.

Speaking of taking our experience with Teachers Write to our students, I'll have two guest bloggers sharing just how Teachers Write impacted their teaching and along with my own experience. The focus here this year is Teachers Write: Tales From the Classroom. I think you'll love hearing from Andy Starowicz and Jennifer Laffin and I'm so glad to have them here!
If you are new to Teachers Write or need a refresher, Kate has all the information about what happens each day of the week. Sunday is the day that Teachers Write comes to Teach Mentor Texts where I host the weekly check-in. This means you can stop in to reflect, celebrate, and plan for the next week. 

Don't forget! Teachers Write is all about you. Participate as much or as little as you want, join in everyday, catch up over the weekend. No matter what, we are happy you are here! Don’t stress, just do what works for you and know we - meaning the whole Teachers Write community - are here for you. 

Next week we’ll start the official Teachers Write check-in but today, I invite you to introduce yourself, share what you are most excited about, what you are most nervous about, and what you hope to get out of Teachers Write. 

Just to be clear, 
here are my 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.

Today, in the comments:
 Introduce yourself!
What you are most excited about?
What you are most nervous about?
What do you hope to get out of Teachers Write?
How the heck does it feel to step into the arena!

Look at you stepping into the arena! 
I can tell you mean business. 
I'm with you!
*high five*
Let's do this!

P. S. Thank you for replying to each other's comments! 
While I read them all and do my best to reply and 
reply as soon as possible it doesn't always happen.
I so appreciate you cheering each other on through Teachers Write! You r-o-c-k!

Psst! Yes, you! One more thing...
Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter here!

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