Thursday, July 8, 2021

#TeachersWrite Weekly Check-In #2 2021!

Welcome to our second Weekly Check-In! On Monday, Kate shared an absolutely amazing activity to go along with her new picture book Dr. Fauci: How a Boy From Brooklyn Became America's Doctor. 

I really enjoyed spending time thinking about my life and things that I did and experienced as a kid and how that influenced the teacher I am today. When something feels hard, like this last school year, I pause to think about my why. Whenever I feel lost, having a purpose helps me feel grounded. Doing this activity reminded me that being a learner and a teacher is part of who I am. It reminded me that I love learning and sharing that experience with others - kids and adults. 

My parents definitely had an impact on the type of person and teacher I am today. I love asking questions and using questions to guide students to think and reflect on their own learning and that definitely comes from my dad. He'd take me to the bus stop everyday. We'd sit in his car and talk. When I'd share something with him, he'd often say, "And how did that make you feel?" I think now maybe he was just being funny but it would make me think and it's part of why I'm reflective today but also why I love asking questions instead of asserting myself as a teacher who has all the answers.

My mom is the one who taught me to value community and being in community with others. I remember going to work with her and in the hallways or on the way to her desk, she'd say hi to everyone. She is kind to everyone. She makes sure everyone feels seen. Community and making sure every student feels seen and valued and included in our classroom is so important to me. It comes before anything else but also as we explore what it means to be readers and writer and citizens of the world. 

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

All of this reflection and thinking about stories and how they stack up got me thinking about a timeline so I flipped my paper and started a timeline, plotting big events that I'd include in my biography if I was going to write it (I might still go back and write it). I love timelines! They're useful in so many ways.

If you did the prompt from Monday, I'd love to hear how it went for you! What stories came up? Please share in the comments!

AND if you want to write with me, I'm hosting a FREE workshop on Monday, July 12th at 7:00 pm CST via Zoom. It's called Explore: Free Writing and I'll talk about my favorite writing strategy that is useful at any point of the writing process. You might be familiar with free writing but I'll share how you can use this to get words onto paper but also to affirm your and your students' writing identities. It's a game changer and I hope you join me! Sign up here.

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 stories came up for you this week while doing Kate's prompt?
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: Ah! I didn't get any words added to my manuscript. BUT I've been doing a lot of journaling and reflective writing similar to Kate's prompt. I've also been thinking a lot about what it means to be a writer and consolidating my thoughts about this. So the pit for me was not making progress towards my goal but the peak is that I have been writing. 

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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