Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Forever in my Heart

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing TeachersThese words were hurriedly composed last Friday morning.  Every teacher knows the frantic feeling of an upcoming celebration and the necessity to mark it with a few words.  Here's my attempt to capture what happened in Room 104 during the month of March!

                     Forever in my Heart

Once upon a time in a classroom not too far from here,
a teacher followed a blog called Two Writing Teachers.
Each Tuesday followers wrote a slice of life.

She loved Tuesdays and reading the slices of life
written by other teachers and posted to the
Two Writing Teachers blog. 
She participated by reading , not by writing.
She was a slice of life stalker, not a writer!
She dreamed of someday posting to Tuesday Slice of Life,
perhaps during the summer when life slows down
and piles of paper do not beckon each moment of her day.
This teacher knew that all writers
even teachers of writing need to write in order to grow. 
Reading responses to the Slice of Life Writing Challenge 
on the Two Writing Teachers blog,
she began to feel a stirring, a hope that perhaps
her incredible students of Room 104 might participate.

And so she hatched a harebrained idea,
and dared to dream
that her students would write every day 
during the month of March.
Could they do it?  Would they run out of ideas?
Could she do it?  Would she run out of ideas?

She wanted them to exercise their writing muscles
to grow strong as writers,
to understand that deep within each heart
are stories that need to be written.
Slices of life that need only the pencil
and quiet moments to be
brought forth sparkling as jewels!

So on February 29, she took the leap.
and told her students about the challenge.
And they wanted to do it!
She told them about The Two Writing Teachers blog
that inspired this madness.
How she stalked the writers each week,
dreaming of the day that she too might write.
She would join the students by writing daily in her writer’s notebook.
They encouraged her to go public,
to post daily at The Two Writing Teachers blog! 

Hopefully you recognize this teacher and these students
gathered here today to celebrate the leap we took
on February 29 – an auspicious day for us!

And so on March 1, we began to write.
We wrote every day we were in school during March,
the longest school month of the year. 
No holidays beckoned from the school calendar.
We picked up pencils and i-pads for 22 days,
this was to be a No Writer Left Behind experience!
Everyone would go for the bronze and complete 22 entries. 
Some might choose to write occasionally on the weekends
And go for silver. 
And perhaps a few would write every day of the month
and go for the gold! 

This exercise of our writing muscles required daily diligence,
appointed stampers of entries, and  occasional orange slices
to keep us focused on our goal and writing every day.

Our ten minute writing time expanded to fifteen as
we discovered nuggets from our day,
snippets of our life that beckoned and begged
to come to life on the pages of our notebooks. 

After the first weekend I was astounded by the
students who chose to write slices on Saturday and Sunday.
We discovered that some days were easier than others.
We had our heart maps, our lists from February 29,
our families, our friends, our pets, and yes, even the weather. 

In spite of all this, sometimes we faced the dreaded
writer’s block and discovered that you can indeed write
about having nothing to write about!
The students learned that I too needed time to write
and the only interruption allowed during this
sacred space of writing time was fire or earthquake.
Thankfully neither occurred!

And so today we gather to celebrate the writers of Room 104,
my incredible students, who gladly accepted the challenge
to write every day in the month of March!

You will forever hold a place in my heart 
as the students who nudged me as a writer, 
to take the leap, to go public, 
and share the stories that matter in my life!