|It's like sitting on a bench with a friend, listening and responding.|
from Dr. Seuss
“We’ve GOT to make noises
in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad!
For every voice counts!”
It’s a time for celebration! Yesterday was my 200th blog post at TeacherDance. My first post was March 1st, 2011 when I wrote about starting a workshop on personal essays, an intensive with another teacher with whom I was teaching. I was starting the March Slice of Life writing challenge with Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers, jumping into a pond I didn’t realize was big until I was with them for a while. I talked two other colleagues into doing it with me, but only one stayed, and continues to write. It’s always a pleasure to see her writing at Prose Cents, and we support each other in our writing at school as well.
On that first day I received five comments, and I was hooked. What a special experience to start a new thing and then have strangers actually respond to my writing, my ideas! Wow! During that day (I’ve peeked back) I heard from Tam at Clay Fragments, Tara at A Teaching Life, someone whose blog is no longer among the slicers, Ruth at Two Writing Teachers welcoming me to the challenge, and Mary Helen at BookSavors. Imagine this: except for one, everyone is still here!
Since that first blog, one loyal blogger continued with me during poetry month when we wrote a poem every day, and that is Donna at Mainely Write. Through the months, both Donna and Deb at Coffee With Chloe have been loyal commenters/supporters. I am thankful to them for keeping my motivation high.
And then others began to show up and I learned more about them too, that they mostly were teachers, and like Donna and Deb were interested in good teaching; no matter what they had to question and try new ideas and discuss them. They were ready to show up with their thinking on their blogs, take risks in writing styles, and welcome me into the great community that Ruth and Stacey had started by doing the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge.
I began very early to look forward to Tuesdays, to what others chose as a topic, to learn about work and home and families and trips and conferences and walks and musings. The slicers I met have continued on Tuesdays and often enough other days, too. I started a Google Reader account with a special file called Slicers so I could read and comment to them especially. Those wonderful writers are: Two Writing Teachers of course, b at Live Write Teach, Diana at One Literacy Coach, Christy at Living, Juliann at Nurturing Curiosity, Fran at Otter Landing, Ruth (Storykeeper) at Windows To My Life, Elizabeth at Word by Word, Mardie at Mardie’s Notebook, Terje (Grade4Wizard) at JustforAMonth, Annie at Write Now In Room 204…, Jennifer at I Hablo Espangish, Katherine at Read, Write, Reflect, Michelle at Literacy Learning Zone, Carol at Carol’s Corner, Elsie at Elsie Tries Writing, One Sunflower who also blogs at Wake Up And Write, Stacey at Reflections of A Mommy, Bonnie at BLKDrama, Mommy K at MooreFamilyFun, Ruth at RuthAyresWrites-Discover, Play, Build, Tammy at KlingerCafe, Reidun at Complacency Conundrum, Jee at Teach To Inspire, and Mrs. V at In Search of Balance.
Lately I have added others to my reader like Myra at Gathering Books because I love to read too, and I am so interested in new technology, and then there is Poetry Friday because poetry is dear to my heart, and I’m beginning to connect there too, like to Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading. Finally there is twitter, something that I am just excited to explore so far.
So-what I have learned this year is even more to appreciate thoughtfulness and creativity. And I have seen those with problems who have worked hard to solve them and those with problems who aren’t solved but not for lack of trying.
And I have seen writing that is clever, writing that is beautiful, writing that is heartfelt, writing that is spare, writing that is clear, and writing that takes my breath away. Never could I have better mentor texts! I love to read, but I think I love to read because I love to write. My blog has given me an outlet, an additional way to share my writing, and with the support those above and others have given me, I am looking forward to a terrific year.
Thank you everyone!