I have always struggled with my identity as a writing teacher. I love teaching writing; I was just telling my husband today how much I love teaching AP Language because I love that I get to teach writing as the focus of the course. It’s fun. I’m not teaching AP Language this year, but writing is still at the center of my classroom. I love seeing students find their voices and find their perspectives on the world. It’s a rewarding gig.
But here’s the thing: I don’t consider myself a writer. I never have. I’m a reader, for sure. But I wouldn’t say I’m a writer. Somewhere in my 31 years of life I got the reputation as a “writer,” and that’s stuck with me. But if you asked me about the myriad hats I wear, the chapeau of a writer would not be one of them.
Don’t get me wrong: I believe that teachers–all teachers–should be writers. Science teachers should write about science. Math teachers should write about math. Art teachers should write about art. We should practice what we preach. And I do that with my students; I write what they write. But I don’t write for myself. I write for gradschool, and I write with them. That’s it.
So I challenged myself to try on the kicky beret of a writer this month. And I accomplished that goal. I wrote every day for 31 days, and I read lots of wonderful writing. My husband asked me today if I’d stick with blogging after the month was over. Truthfully? I don’t know.
I found this month that I like writing, but I’m not sure I love it. I also found that that’s OK. I have the ability to express myself in writing, and I do sometimes get joy from it if I’m writing about something I care about. That’s what I hope to impart to my students. I didn’t enjoy every Slice I wrote. Some days were a struggle, for sure. But when I connected with one of my topics, I did enjoy myself. And I worked through some important ideas this month. I am adjusting to my new role as mother and teacher and wife all at the same time, and it was helpful to put words to the ideas that were floating around inside. Plus I like the idea of having something to look back on as I think about my daughter’s babyhood. (Today was our first trip to the zoo–she’s growing up so fast!)
So I might continue blogging. If I do it will probably be more about reading and teaching than about my every day life. I’ll definitely continue journaling. I’ll try to pop in on Tuesdays for the Slice of Life posts, if I’ve got something that week. But even if this is my final post until next March I’m glad I participated. I wrote for 31 days–I don’t think I’ve done anything for 31 days before! Thanks to the teachers at Two Writing Teachers for hosting the Challenge! And thanks to the other participants who inspired me daily!