Writing

Today’s prompt is “Tell about a writing challenge you dealt with and how it can help you as a writing teacher.”

My biggest challenge with writing is simply the act itself. Starting. Continuing. Finishing. I know many of my students feel the same way.

Where do I start?

Start at the beginning.

What do I say?

Say whatever you feel.

How do I end?

End when you have nothing left to say.

The answers appear simple, but if you’re someone who has a hard time expressing yourself, like many students are, sitting down with pen and paper (or at a keyboard) can be paralyzing.

This helps me in teaching writing because I can totally relate to that feeling. One strategy is just to write “I can’t think of anything to write” over and over again until an idea springs to your mind. The thought is that the physical act of writing will trigger some switch, and that repetitive sentence will morph into the words you want to share.

Accountability is another thing that can get you writing. When you know others will read what you have to say, you feel a sense of responsibility to get the words right so they will respect your opinion. If you form a writing community with others, your motivation to share your thoughts may be inspired by the fear of owing everyone a Starbucks (#inklings).

One thing I’ve noticed: the more I read, the more easily writing comes to me.

And that’s all I have to say, so I’ll end here.

Revival

It’s time to bring this blog back to life. I began with the intention of sharing my experiences in migrating to a 1:1 classroom as my students received iPads. My focus changed when I left the physical classroom walls for the virtual world, and I found I didn’t have much I wanted to blog about. Now that I’m back in the classroom among real, live students (not avatars), I’m more inspired than ever to write and share what I know. I have a separate blog where I share the day-to-day activities in the classroom; this one will serve as a place to reflect and think ahead.

I ran across a list of interview questions for potential English teachers, so I think I’ll make each one the focus of future entries. Maybe that will help me get back in the habit of blogging and spark some new ideas of my own.

The first question is “What were you like in high school? How are you still the same, and how have you changed?”

I played somewhat of a supporting role in high school. I was a manager for the volleyball and basketball teams, and I rode the bench for much of my softball career. Two of those roles were chosen. If I’d had my way, I would have been starting at 2nd base or right field, but I wasn’t the best player for those positions. The experience taught me humility and patience, and those are two traits that I carry with me today. Academics were a different story. I enjoyed school, and I really wanted to please my teachers. I’m still that person, too, in a way. I like my work, and I want to keep my colleagues and supervisors happy. At my core, I really am the same person now that I was years ago.