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Time to Reflect #sol20

I have contemplated joining the Slice of Life writing challenge for several years now. I admire my friend, Leigh Anne, who writes everyday and participates in SOL in March and on Tuesdays. I often follow the #teachwrite hashtag and the twitter chat that happens monthly. This year I have been writing everyday since November 1st, so I felt like I was prepared to jump in and tackle the challenge. My goal in this challenge was to become a better writer, teacher, and all around human. Let’s see how I did with those goals–

Goal: I will become a better writer. The act of writing helps you become a better writer. Yes, instruction is important, but putting the pencil to paper or fingers to the keyboard and just writing is so valuable. Volume matters in writing. By writing every single day, I improved my craft. I was on the look out for ideas. Once you get in the habit of writing everyday, you become an idea collector. Little things happen, and I would think, “That’s a post.” As I read a variety of posts from others, I began to notice things others were doing that I could borrow. I was reading like a writer. I noticed what introductions grabbed me as a reader, and I tried to emulate those. I learned I am a better writer in the morning when my brain is fresh and uncluttered. I learned that I miss my notebook since I’ve been doing most of my writing on a computer. Yes, I became a better writer.

Goal: I will become a better teacher. I learned a lot about feedback through this challenge. How to receive it and how to give it. From Day 1, I started improving my writing based on feedback from others. All the feedback I received was positive, and through the affirmations, I knew what was working and did more of that. Specific feedback moved me forward as a writer. Others telling me lines they liked helped me craft more lines that were rich and meaningful. As I gave feedback, I tried to share places in the writing that moved me, whether it was word choice, or the overall structure, or the rhythm. I know I will use these tips for giving feedback to my writers. Yes, I became a better teacher.

Goal: I will become a better person. This was something I didn’t expect. How being a writer can change the person I am becoming. I am more thoughtful. I am more observant. I am more caring. This writing community truly cares for it’s members. The support I felt through others reading my writing and commenting has been a bright spot in each day this month. I have grown as a person each time I struggle with a post and hit publish. I have done the hard work. I have shared my writing for the first time ever. This writing space has given me the chance to be bold with my words. Yes, I became a better person.

Thank you Slice of Life 2020! I will always remember this as the month I became a writer. I hope to continue slicing with you all on Tuesdays!

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Connect

This year, I have combined two goal setting practices: one word and 20 for 20. For several years, I have selected one word as focus for the year. I’ve chosen relish, intentional, and others I can’t remember. (That shows it hasn’t been super impactful if I can’t recall the words!) Last year I tried 19 for 19 based on Gretchen Rubin’s idea in her podcast Happier. I think I was able to check 7 things off my list last year, which isn’t great, but is a start. So this year, I decided to merge the two! I have selected the one word connect and my 20 for 20 list ties to ways I can connect.

I am working to connect more with God, myself, my family, friends, teachers/students, and nature. One additional practice that I have incorporated is a monthly reflection with my word and my 20 for 20 list. It’s time to for my March reflection. How am I doing? What ways have I connected with myself and others? What things need to move to the top of my list?

Glows–writing everyday, started a blog, planned an outing with a friend, encouraged the new teachers and 5th grade team, planned a family vacation, volunteered at church

Grows–write a handwritten note to a friend, go hiking, set up a lunch with high school friends, memorize another verse,

Now off to make the most of this day and connect!

My early thoughts
My brainstormed list