I had an important workshop today about Guided Reading. I am a new K-12 Language Arts Literacy supervisor, but in my former life I was a high school teacher. While I know the outlines of elementary education because of various early teaching experiences, I am always trying to learn more. So I was ready to sit down with my notebook and take as many notes as I could.
I have a notebook for important things. I’ve been keeping it since I started at my new position in July. It is carefully indexed so I can easily find information I might need in the future. It has gone with me to every important workshop and meeting I’ve had in the last nine months.
But this morning, as I settled the presenter in and readied myself for the workshop, I realized that the notebook was not in my bag. It was in my office. I panicked. Yes, I could always take digital notes (and I had been planning on taking digital notes as well as hard copy notes anyway). But my notebook allows for freedom that the computer does not. I can write in the margins, make connections. Computers just don’t do that.
I frantically searched my bag. I found a small, pocket-sized Moleskin my sister had given me. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it when she gave it to me, so I did almost nothing. I had filled a few pages with random notes from a department meeting when I had no other paper, but I hadn’t done much else. It was a beautiful notebook (don’t Moleskins always make you feel Parisian? They make me feel Parisian.), and I didn’t want to “ruin” it by using it haphazardly.
But lately I’ve been inspired by the many journal posts I’ve seen, the authentic writing I’ve been doing. So I kept the notebook on the table in front of me. And while I took my formal, digital notes, I also kept gems in the notebook: reminders of things I wanted to remember about the workshop, about teaching, about life. I think I’ll continue to use the notebook this way: as a place to record my thoughts and thinking that I want to remember, even if it’s not as carefully organized as the rest of my note-taking. It felt authentic and real, and isn’t that what writing is supposed to feel like?
This post is part of the Slice of Life writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers. You can find out more about the challenge here!