In Five Sentences: #SOLSC21

Five sentences describing my journey with words, language, and writing. One angle; a work in progress.

As a child, I could be found manipulating Scrabble letters, taking pride in placing 100-point words like “QUETZAL” on triple word spots.

Empty notebooks and freshly acquired pens were always in my possession just in case a moment overwhelmed me or a quote fell in my lap.

In college, I began and abandoned many blogs in an attempt to figure the world out through writing, but became overwhelmed with the volume of reading required as a literature major.

My first year of teaching was disillusioning since college classes disregarded my writing identity in order to bathe solely in Shakespeare.

After several institutes and conferences, I became more confident in the formulaic, tested expectations of writing; now, however, I am becoming a confident writer myself who is experiencing writing community just as students should. 

21 thoughts on “In Five Sentences: #SOLSC21

  1. I firmly believe that finding a supportive community does wonders for bolstering our confidence as writers. For me, a big change was taking part in our local college Summer Writing Institute.

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  2. My favorite phrase was of course “just in case… a quote fell in my lap” because I love the imagery at play there. I also enjoyed and could relate to the part about “bathing soley in Shakespeare.” As a fellow English major, my college prepared me more for classic texts vs actual writing instruction. It used to stress me out — how to teach writing — but I’m grateful for TTW and NWP for helping me AFTER the fact. It’s hard to imagine I was once dreading teaching writing and now it’s like my fave part of it all.

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    1. Amen to that! I love teaching writing, and now that I’ve immersed myself in a writing community, I feel so much ownership over this developing identity. Thank you!

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  3. Such a good reminder to us as teachers that writing (and all learning) is a socio-cognitive activity. I know I grow when I’m engaged in a writing community and my students will too.

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    1. Thank you, friend – it’s so true! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to recognize it, but I’m here now 🙂

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  4. Powerful post – and this line, especially: “My first year of teaching was disillusioning since college classes disregarded my writing identity…” I see this happening in school all the time, choices and programs trumping authentic writing opportunities and a real workshop model. Donald Graves wrote that schools value receptive literacy so much more than expressive that students grow up thinking their voices don’t matter, that they are poor writers, and that eventually others will do their thinking for them. Part of the problem – if not most of it – is that EDUCATORS don’t see themselves as writers or feel confident teaching writing. And this is why we are here… and not only as teachers, but as humans knit together by our stories. My goal is always to help students – and teachers – fall in love with the craft. — Can you tell you struck a chord with me? ❤

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    1. I love this response, I have screenshot this response, I love your brain and passion!! I’m learning more and more just how CRUCIAL it is for educators to identify as writers. I’m also realizing how, just like most things, it really does start with building relationships rather than talking AT educators about this importance. One has to be in it to actually KNOW. Thank you, thank you. 🙂

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      1. So delighted to know this, Britt – this work is so near and dear to me, and it’s always a joy to find a passionate, kindred writing spirit!

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  5. It’s all about the community, regardless of the type. If you have crabby neighbors, you don’t feel at home. If you are trying to write without that supportive community of writers, it’s hard to feel at “home” as well.

    Thankfully, you’ve found that community and your story resonates with people.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! 🙂

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  6. College was such a strange time because while you were reading voraciously and writing to strict rubrics there also seemed to be an intense closeness with language which I have only recently rediscovered. Except now instead of required reading and writing I love that this writing community pursues writing as an art form and cultivating our own interests. I’ll have to think about how to bring more of this into my own classroom.

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