Showing posts from February, 2017

#SOL17 The Night Before

It's the day before the March Slice of Life Story Challenge! It feels like the night before school starts, or before you go to summer camp....when you know you will see familiar faces again, and new ones, and you're about to start something exciting. Maybe a little scary. There's a thrill in the air, because life is about to shift in new ways....

I look at my March calendar and worry. March is BUSY. Report cards. My daughter's birthday. Professional events. Will I be able to carve out time each day to blog? To inspire my students to blog? To keep up with all the commenting and additional work that goes into being part of both challenges?

It always comes back to the "why." Why take on all of this extra work in a month that is already jam-packed? For me, the Slice of Life Story Challenge is about walking the walk and truly living like a writer. It's inviting students along and showing them that writing is something real people do, in their honest-to-goodness …

#SOL17 Does Moving Up Always Mean Moving Out?

"It seems such a waste of time If that's what it's all about
Mama if that's movin' up Then I'm movin' out" - Billy Joel, "Anthony's Song"

In the education world, I've noticed that most of the time, to advance professionally, you need to leave your role of being a teacher. To move up, you have to move out. You can become an instructional coach, a dean, an assistant principal, a principal, a director, an assistant superintendent, or superintendent. You can become an independent consultant or work with other consultants, visiting schools and working with teachers. You might become a professor and work with college students who wish to become teachers. There doesn't seem to be a way for a teacher who wants to stay in the classroom to advance professionally by way of different title, salary, or prestige. 
Being a classroom teacher is challenging. I teach third grade, which means I teach my 25 students every subject. Literacy, of course, …

#SOL17 Finally Reading Letter from Birmingham Jail

I am 37 years old, with my Masters plus 75 credits- a teacher for 15 years- and, I confess, I only just read Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jailthis past Saturday.I'm annoyed that nowhere in my schooling was this letter shared with me or discussed. This past weekend, the Long Island Writing Project held a workshop on argument writing, based on this text. While we read the letter with a lens on argument writing and thinking about the specific techniques King used, it was hard not to get lost in the message of this letter, especially at this juncture in history. 

This particular section of the letter led tears to spring to my eyes:

We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our God-given and constitutional rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. I guess it is easy for those …