One Day MAYbe… #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

For more years than I can count I have a tradition on the first school day of May.

I invite students to finish the sentence stem: One day MAYbe…

Grade level or age does not matter for this prompt. It is universal and always applies.

My students wrote with this prompt today and we discussed if they would travel somewhere or what they wanted to be when they grew up.

One day MAYbe the weather will even out and it will actually look like spring.

One day MAYbe I will be a full time writer.

One day MAYbe I will be a princess.

I am always looking for the magic in teaching. Some days are easier to find it than others but it usually is in writing!

I invite you to finish the phrase –

One day MAYbe…

#happywriting

Illustrators #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

Reading and writing have always been taught together in my classroom. There is also lots of bookmaking for students and for me.

I used to take all the words they needed to know and would make books of text for them to practice reading before there were sites like Teacher Pay Teacher and Pinterest.

When teaching about what the author does in writing a book we also talk about illustrators. Throughout the years as I have met countless children’s book authors. I was surprised to learn that the writer often does not get to choose the illustrator for their books. They are sometimes randomly assigned. Sometimes requests are made but they are not always honored by the publisher.

Several authors talked about how the placement of words on the page is also chosen by the illustrator and sometimes will change the way the story is read. The illustrator has more power than I once thought.

I have always modeled how to draw certain things simply since I cannot just ask students to do something when I haven’t given them an example. I have used stick people to show how to make people more “fleshy”.

Yesterday I read Mo Willems book: The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

I learned years ago when I saw him speak at an International Reading Association conference that he drew the pigeon the way he did on purpose so even young children could write their own pigeon books.

Today one of my individual students wrote about sheep using the book she just read as a model. I showed her how to use swirls to make it look fuzzy. Then she said to me, “I’m going to make the curlies up to the neck!”

I was reminded of the joy of drawing with my students today!

What brought you joy today?

Ten On Tuesday #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

Ten On Tuesday…Out of Order

  1. Ten on Tuesday used to be a writing prompt I would give to my students. Sometimes lists are easier to write for adults and kids.
  2. Today I presented at the staff meeting and was observed by my direct boss. I have lost count of the times I have presented to a variety of audiences. The numbers of people and the varied backgrounds. There is always an energy to presenting but a layer of anxiety when I know someone is listening to everything I say!
  3. Today sushi was what was for dinner tonight and it was delicious.
  4. Today I gave the standardized state test to students in the morning.
  5. Today I had a lovely coaching meeting at the beginning of the day which is going to be a great way to end the school year.
  6. Today I wrote a story and posted it on the Sarah Selecky Centered community and received from feedback and read several poems.
  7. Today I spoke to someone important.
  8. Today I started my day with coffee and writing – just how I like it.
  9. Today I avoided going grocery shopping.
  10. Today I wrote a slice later than normal!

What list of 10 would you write today?

Yesterday Was… #SOL22 #Day31

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

Today is the last day of March and it is hard to believe. In some ways the time went quickly and in others it was slow – as it seems to work with time!

Over the month, I have been inspired by so many fantastic posts. I have been able to catch up on the lives of teachers all over the world who I admire and look forward to reading this whole month.

Yesterday Was…

Yesterday was for getting up naturally at 5am.

Yesterday was for writing all morning with coffee.

Yesterday was for lots of back and forth audio messages between friends.

Yesterday was for chopping my hair off.

Yesterday was for taking a writing workshop and texting with a writing friend the whole time to make it even better.

Yesterday was for making a new recipe of black bean soup.

Yesterday was for dancing in the kitchen to Michael Buble, Aerosmith, and AC/DC.

Yesterday was for having a business call for a new opportunity I am thrilled about.

Yesterday was about telling someone important the news about the call first.

Yesterday was for talking to writers in my community on Zoom and laughing about late hosts, childhood, finding people, and oh yeah…writing.

Yesterday was for reading poems and Aftershock for my memoir class.

Yesterday was for changing my mind about running errands and just staying home.

Yesterday was for rain…all day….again.

Yesterday was for commenting on writing within a writing community forum.

Yesterday was for watching season 2 of Bridgerton.

Yesterday was for going to bed early because I was up at 5am!

In April, I will be writing and reading poetry every day!

What are your plans for April? Rest? Continue the daily streak? A new challenge? I would love to hear.

I made it all 31 days!

The surprise for me is that I am fueled, and not tired of it this year. It didn’t seem as taxing over the course of the month this year. Considering the trauma of 2022 for me that was a welcome surprise.

By The Book #SOL22 #Day29

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

This morning, another slicer and The Dirigible Plum (yes, again) inspired me with their take on the “By the Book” column in the Sunday Times.

What books are on your nightstand?
Seven Drafts (craft book), Little Weirds by Jenny Slate, Writing Begins with the Breath (craft book), Dearly (poetry by Atwood), Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass(poetry) – I won’t list the ones in a stack on the floor…

What is the last great book you read?
I have been reading chunks of books…I am enjoying Gallant by VE Schwab. I read Melissa Febos’ Body Work. There was another book I recently read all the way through and enjoyed it but cannot remember what it was! Isn’t that always how it goes? Someone asks you and then you forget the title…

Are there any classic novels you only recently read for the first time?
There are quite a few. Several summers I have assigned myself a high school reading list that wasn’t mine. To Kill A Mockingbird was one. I will have to revisit my list.

What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of?

I have reread this book several times (one time on a plane) and I do not reread often. There is something magical about this book and how he describes running.

How do you organize your books?
Piles and randomly shoved into the bookcases. Sometimes I group them together by topic. Usually it is grouped together by when the last time I touched it! I have stacks of books I do not want to “lose”. I have a pile for a writing class I begin on Thursday on my desk so I won’t forget where they are!

The word organize should not be used for this category for me…did I mention the pile of books on the floor next to the bed above???

Describe your ideal reading experience.
Sitting in front of a fire either inside on a cold day or outside on a cool day. Overlooking water in a comfy chair or sitting on a bench. There is that feeling when you are into a book and it sparks something in you – I love that feeling and crave it more!

What do you plan to read next?

Poetry since I am self imposing a challenge for myself for the month of April! That is why I pulled out the two books of poetry yesterday.

What is one thing about your reading life would you tell me?

Creative Toolkit #SOL22 #Day28

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

Inspired by: The Dirigible Plum [who I have been inspired by A LOT this month!]

What if I had a creative toolkit I could bring with me where I am? What rituals, objects, or tools inspire you to create?

Here are a few things that help me create:

A spark, a mentor text, a mentor. Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and class I am signed up for. I get to hear Natalie talk to me! Reading poetry during my morning writing sessions is always a must. Reading in general is a great practice for me. I heard on a podcast recently that an author doubled her reading and her writing output increased over 30%. This is something I want to experiment with for myself.

The right tools. My notebook and the pen I feel like using that morning. I have a purple pen, a black pen, and a fountain pen that I rotate depending on my mood. I can write anywhere but I like having the right tool for how I am feeling. Sometimes that means the KEEP app on my phone. I also need my laptop. I couldn’t publish anything without it! I also do a lot of drafting and revision work on the computer.

Podcasts. I have rotating favorites. I tend to listen to them on walks, runs, and when I drive. Driving always seems to spark ideas for me as well.

A walk or run. Walking makes it easier to make notes but there is never a time I walk or run and ideas do not come together.

Silence or white noise. I cannot listen to music with words and write. It just doesn’t work for me.

Talking to other writers. I love my various writing communities and they fuel me all in such a different way.

Prompts. I love writing to prompts. It allows me to enter a piece of writing from a different angle each time. I have my regular routines in the morning and it always sparks the right writing for the day.

Strong emotions. This has been a new one for me, but I have been working on paying attention to my emotions more and what triggers them. If I am feeling strongly about something I have been writing the way my body feels, the thoughts running through my head, or I allow the emotion to come through what I am writing that day. This can be love, anger, grief, restlessness, etc.

What would be in your toolkit?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are some essentials you can’t write without?
  • Are there any reference books that you find useful when your writing, or that relate to your current work in progress?
  • Are there any books on the craft of writing you like to dip in and out of while writing?
  • Do you like to keep a planner for your writing?

4-4-4 #SOL22 #Day25

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

[Prompt: Look around and choose 4 things within 4 ft. of you and 4 minutes to write about them.]

One sentence each

Inspiration from : https://thecollective257774336.wordpress.com/2022/03/24/4-4-4/

The new Corkcicle dragonfly colored mug holds my hot coffee no matter how long I write in the morning.

The materials of my morning routine lay scattered around me and bring me comfort of a routine unbroken.

The nightstand that is not mine sits as it was 10 weeks and 5 days ago and I have no idea when I will be ready to move any of it.

The big red blanket holds me in place as I listen to the traffic outside rush by at too early of an hour this morning.

What 4 things are in your immediate area?

Rambly Rainy Thoughts #SOL22 #Day24

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

It has been raining for days and the weather forecast says it will continue. The weather is something that I cannot control. It was cold and rainy yesterday when I came home last night so there was no run for me. When the weather breaks, I will run again. Until then I am not worrying about it.

This is the week before spring break but it involves two late nights at school for conferences with parents. My school uses a different process called APTT. In the past, conference time was fairly open for me as a coach. I would assist teachers in their conferences when they needed it, or I would be asked to random tasks. Sometimes parents or teachers would come to chat with me about academics in my office. This time I am assigned duties. Tuesday was one of those late nights. And tonight is one of those late nights. It always seems extra exhausting to be at school late for even one evening, but two is a whole new level.

Tuesday I had some great conversations with teachers and parents so that is the silver lining.

Tonight I am assigned to one classroom, so that is not terrible either.

Today is the last day of school for students before spring break. Tomorrow I have meetings in the morning and then work time in the afternoon. Then I AM FREE!!!!! I have some errands that need to be completed next week but mostly the time is mine. I will have time to run and walk next week and get back on my training schedule.

My normal evenings are reserved for house tasks and writing meetings/classes. I had my Happy Campers chat last evening, which was fun. Besides random conversation, we answered the question, “Which author(s) would you like to meet and learn from?” My answer? Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, and Amber Sparks.

I also did a lot of cleaning over the course of the night. I am not normally the spring cleaning type but I the rain might have inspired me.

For my #3questions today I thought about, “What if I only kept things in the home I loved?”

I went through paperwork and pictures after work yesterday. Many were scattered all over the house in various plastic boxes so I gathered them all together. After some legal stuff is over, I believe I am going to have a bonfire of all the papers I don’t want to hang onto but feel I have to. There is that feeling of items that I need to keep, rather than what I want to keep. At this point there is a lot online that is saved but some forms still need to hang around.

I am considering getting a watertight sealed container and putting all the papers I don’t really want in my personal space down in the garage storage to get them out of my home space. There is still more to sort, but after awhile the emotional toll was too much and I stopped.

I am soooo looking forward to tomorrow afternoon!!!! SPRING BREAK here I come!

What has been on your mind this week? When do you get in cleaning moods?

3 Questions #SOL22 #Day23

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

Today my inspiration comes from the Tracking Wonder website which I discovered from Monna’s Ease Lessons podcast. The podcast is extremely inspirational to me!

3 Questions to Change My Perspective

These questions came from a newsletter from the author of Tracking Wonder. I have been working with these questions over the course of a week. I am not sure I am happy with my responses, but it has been an interesting exercise.

The process is to ask the same 3 questions every morning for two weeks, and then track your responses. The purpose is to feel a new sense of purpose and mission. It is a way to reset by reminding yourself what you are devoted to.

I chose a Google Doc and put a reminder into my calendar so I get a notification. I also linked the doc in the reminder.

Question 1: The Devotion Question

What am I devoted to today? 

The Devotion Question is one key tool not just to fall in love with a fantasy of a big idea but to stand in wonder with making it real.

Keep the devotion to seven words or less. That way you can remember it when you need it.

To think about what I am devoted to on a daily basis sets a tone for the day. It is interesting to pare down what I am devoted to in seven words.

Question 2: The Curiosity Question

What am I curious about today?

Curiosity, wonder’s rebel facet, boosts our mood and propels us into action. Curiosity helps us persist because we have fun along the way.

If you’re not sure about your curiosity, ask yourself one of these questions to get behind your curiosity “What skills do I want to learn? What piece of knowledge do I want or need answered? “

Start your day with this question, and the day becomes more of a quest, even if the quest is mostly internal as you pursue new discoveries. 

When you let The Curiosity Question frame your meetings or other chance encounters with people during the day, then every conversation becomes a curiosity conversation. 

Some executive clients even ask themselves, “Who am I curious about today?” to remind themselves that genuine curiosity builds genuine rapport and connection.

I am curious about a lot things and input is my jam, but when I have to write it down and think about it the answer does not come as easily as I would have thought. I allow ideas to come to be organically and then pursue them, so this approach is different.

Question 3: The Possibility Question

What if we______?

This question cannot help but open you up to a little possibility for the day. 

>>> What if we found a new way to exercise together as a family? 

>>> What if we could sync up as a remote team once a week for a creative coffee break? 

>>> What if we rotated who led the stand up meeting? 

>>> What if we could harness rain to water green urban zones?

Why “we”? It reminds you that pursuing possibility is rarely if ever a solely solo endeavor. Do it together beats do it yourself.

Maybe you already have a question or morning rhythm that sets your day off right. If so, hit “Reply” and let me know.

A life of meaning and possibility is within your reach. Today.

I think moving forward, I am going to think of these questions are more of freewrites and then take all my ideas and make the simple sentences to record. It is still something I am playing with.

Let me know if you try them out!

What are you devoted to and curious about today? What if you tried the questions??

Ten Worth Sharing #SOL22 #Day

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

Today my inspiration comes from Austin Kleon

Ten Worth Sharing Today

  1. The phrases, “What makes you say that?” and “Tell me more,” when in coaching conversations.
  2. I am excited about Melissa Febos’ new book Body Work.
  3. The new Smoklelong Quarterly is out and I know two people who are published in this issue!
  4. My running training plan
  5. Gallant

6. The American Writers Museum is part of a writers festival in May!

7. Library ambiance white noise for working

8. Story Corpse masterclass

9. Cult of Pedagogy podcast (I could do a whole list of 10 podcasts to listen to…maybe a post for another day!)

10. Short walks at lunch to get out into the sun, away from the stress bricks that stack up in school, and to keep myself emotionally safe.

What is worth sharing today?