Thursday, July 1, 2021

#TeachersWrite Weekly Check-In #1 2021!

You’re here! I’m here. We're here. We. Are. Here. 

I'm so happy you are here for our Teachers Write Weekly Check-In! If you aren't officially signed up here, please go here.

If you’re new to me, hi! I’m Jen Vincent. I just finished my 19th year in education and I’m currently a middle school LA/SS teacher. This upcoming school year, I’ll teach 8th grade and will have one section of monolingual (all English) and one section of one-way dual language (Spanish and English). In 2011 I jumped into NaNoWriMo and have been writing novels and picture books and essays ever since. I've gained confidence in myself as a teacher of writers because I have experience writing all sorts of stuff myself. Living the life of a writer was a complete game changer for my writing instruction. And that's why I'm here! To spread my love of writing because I want YOU to be a confident writing teacher too. In doing so we can bring joy to writing and impact student writers. Yay!

Let's dive into the Weekly Check-In! On Monday, Kate asked us to pause and breathe because we have been through a lot. And then she asked us to notice and remember a time when we were whole and write. My mind went back to my childhood, running barefoot in a grass field near my house, dandelions daring to exist in all their glory. My skin is dark brown from all the time outside and my hair frizzes around my fave. The sun washes over me and the warmth seeps in along with my daddy’s words, “Look at her go.”

Here's what my notebook entry looked like for this exercise:

Sidenote: Having a writer's notebook made me feel like a real writer when I was started writing. I was excited to fill it up and share with students. If you can treat yourself to a special notebook to devote to gathering up and exploring ideas, I definitely recommend it. Moleskine's are my favorite but I also love the yellow legal pads from the dollar store. You don't have to be fancy, just intentional.

While this school year was exhausting and challenging for me, I did it. We did it. We are here now looking back and I am using writing to process and heal while also to have some fun. Being in community with you and other teacher writers is helpful to me. I love knowing I’m not alone and I love learning from others. You give me comfort. You inspire me. You energize me.

In celebration of being here together, I'd like to offer Pink's song I Am Here. I found myself listening to this again and again this school year and it reminded me how beautiful and special it is for us to be here. Thank you for sharing your awesome! 
Here’s how the weekly check-in goes. I share a bit of my writing life and I invite you to reflect on your writing life this week and share the ups and downs in the comments. It’s been pretty much the same since 2012 when we first started and if you’re at all interested in the resources I’ve shared over the years, this link will take you to all my previous Teachers Write posts, starting with the most recent first.

Teachers Write Weekly Check-In Agreements:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we each do do.
2. We are positive and encourage each other.
3. We recognize and maintain this as a safe, inclusive environment for all.
4. We have fun!

Ideas for today in the comments section:
What are your goals for Teachers Write?
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the non-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-fun part?)

My Weekly Check-In: My goals for Teachers Write is to follow along with Kate's posts and to add words to the young adult novel I'm drafting. I usually aim for about 50,000 words and I currently have a little over 7,000 so I feel pretty proud of myself! My goal for next week will be to get to at least 15,000 words total. The hardest part has been getting myself motivated but the fun part has been scheduling time to go to Panera in the morning to write. I missed being able to write in a coffee shop! I think more Panera time will help me reach my goal.

I can't wait to hear how Teachers Write is going for you! If you have any questions or if I can help with anything, please let me know!

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