The Big Picture Series: Teacher as Writer

“If you are not a writer, you will not understand the difficulties of writing. If you are not a writer, you will not know the fears and hopes of the writers you teach.”
– Mem Fox

Interpretation of the Quote:
Right before Winter Recess, I gave three of my students a printout that included the URL of this blog. They knew it existed, but they’d never been on it. When asked why I was giving it to them, I responded, “So I can prove to you that I write each and every day… even when I’m under the weather or have a lot of work to do: I make the time to write.”
I received a couple of odd glances followed by, “I’ll be checking it over vacation. I’ll be checking to see if you’re writing every day.”
“Go right ahead,” I replied. “The only days I do not post something are when there’s a religious holiday or I am without an internet connection.” (I explained that I write in my notebook on the latter.)
“Really?” the three students asked in unison.
“Really,” I replied matter-of-factly.
If I wasn’t a teacher-writer, then I wouldn’t understand what kinds of things would get in the way of writing daily. In fact, if I wasn’t a writer, then I wouldn’t understand the fear that one has when putting the pen to the page when the brain feels empty and devoid of anything meaningful to write. But I am a writer, so I do know what these things feel like, which is why I have the chutzpah to challenge my students to read this blog each and every day. I have nothing to hide from them. In fact, if they read my writing in this forum, then perhaps they’ll see yet another purpose for writing beyond helping oneself.

Challenge:
Figure out what gets in the way of you writing regularly. Once you figure it out, grab your agenda, lesson plan book, or PDA, and schedule 10 – 20 minutes of writing time per day for yourself. Treat this time as if it were a doctor’s appointment or a visit to a manicurist. Turn off your phone. Unplug from your email. Set aside this time to just drop everything and write.

Reflective Journal:
Some questions to answer:

  • What is standing in the way of you writing regularly?
  • How will you make sure you drop everything and write during the times you’ve blocked-off daily?
  • Extra Resources:

  • Author: A True Story by Helen Lester
  • How Writers Work: Finding a Process That Works for You by Ralph Fletcher