SOLSC ~ 2011 ~ 29/31

sols_2011challenge

The final week of the term.  The week before spring break.  It’s always an interesting time of year.  We’re all ready for warmer weather and a chance to catch our breath before the busy pace of spring sets in.  Thankfully, we’ve had some well-timed snow days throughout this winter, so it does seem as though the upcoming break will be just the icing on the cake!

This year especially, I’m both happy and somewhat sad to see March come to a close.  For the first time ever, I’ve participated in the Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.  Personally, this has been a huge motivation and encouragement to keep writing.  Every. Single. Day.  And if I’m 100% honest here, if I’d taken on the challenge, without inviting my students to do so as well, I really don’t think I would have succeeded.  They have been  my motivation, and often my inspiration, to keep going.

Many students have made the commitment to slice as well.  Though, I never asked them to voice their intentions, it’s been so amazing watching them grow as writers.  We’ve faced issues like – “I’m not going to be home tonight, how will I post to my blog?” and “I’m going to use the journal since I don’t know if I can blog every entry.”  Some have found that writing every day has it’s ups and downs.  Sometimes, it’s hard to think of what to say.

I was right there with them. Too tired to see straight some nights, and too excited to put thoughts together on others.  Today, our final Tech Tuesday of the month, I shared with students the news that funding for the NWP has been cut.  This challenge, our recent project, even the courage to give students blogs in the first place, were ideas that took root in work I’ve done with the talented teachers I’ve met through the National Writing Project.  So today, one day before I know some of my West Michigan colleagues will be headed to Washington D.C., I asked my students what my involvement in the NWP means to them.  I gave them the choice to #blog4nwp today and many of them did.

As I read them, I felt the tingle of tears at the voice and honesty I heard in their writing.  I smiled at the personality and wondered if these students would someday hold a public office for themselves.  Below is the list of slicers, the intended beneficiaries of NWP work.

To all my students – thank you. If it weren’t for you, none of this would matter. I hope the experiences you have throughout your educational career will prepare you to think and take action in support of whatever cause you feel is worthwhile. I’ve so enjoyed these past days – reading, writing, commenting and growing together as a community. You’ve made me so very proud!

This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community.  The goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March.

5 comments

  1. Amanda, I don’t think I have time to reply to all your students tonight, but I will try to do it over the next days. Tell them that I have really enjoyed seeing their words, & hope they realize how powerful words can be. You are a terrific teacher to take this extra time to support the students’ writing while doing it yourself. Wow, I am so impressed. I am saddened by the tenor of Congress these days, cutting what is so inherently good. Happy spring break to all of you.

  2. Amanda, Your students are so thoughtful. I am glad they recognize how much the Writing Project has affected them. I can tell by their writing that they love and respect you as a teacher, and that they are learning so much from you and your creative ideas. I hope to have my students blogging next year. I might ask you for some tips in the future!
    ~Heather

  3. Amanda,
    Thanks for taking the time to reflect on the challenge & the NWP. What an accomplishment for you and your students to commit to writing in March.

    I’m glad you joined the challenge. I am a better person because of your words & your students’ words. Thanks for sharing.
    Ruth

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