Ten thoughts about the 2021 Slice of Life Story Challenge:
1. I can’t believe this is the final day of March! I find March to be a very loooong month and participating in this challenge was a perfect way to scoot it along.
2. The community of writers here is uplifting. Although none of my coworkers participated (yet), I am grateful to have been a part of this online community of passionate teachers. I felt happy after reading through so many slices about so many topics.
3. The Welcome Wagon was wonderful! I appreciate all the comments, tips, and support. On the first day, I posted my link incorrectly and never would have realized it (probably for the rest of the month) if Erika hadn’t given me the heads up that nobody could comment on my post. Now that I’ve posted 31 slices, I have figured it out and am no longer a WordPress newbie. Haha.
4. I am amazed by the act of writing. I am amazed by the simple idea of writing down a snippet of life, publishing it, and the emotions and power it can evoke in a reader. I felt moved, laughed, pondered, and nodded in agreement after reading so many slices.
5. Comments are important. I found myself reading not only comments written to me, but comments on other posts. I appreciated all the comments I received and tried to give back. It also stood out to me the positivity of the comments. I wasn’t under a microscope where someone pointed out something minute I had done wrong. I love the safe, caring community this is!
6. I thought I would run out of ideas when I had thought about doing the challenge in the first place. I worried if I should even try. I wound up with more ideas to write about than I expected. Honestly, I did have a dip around the 20’s of the month, but reading other slices sparked ideas and I was back on track!
7. About those ideas, I surprised myself that I had so many! Not just topics, but writing poems and narratives, lists and reflections. It felt empowering to just write without guidelines (well with some…I do like parameters). I also found that I love the blog draft feature in WordPress and have saved ideas and half started posts there for the future.
8. Participating in this challenge gave me a renewed perspective on how students feel when we ask them to write and share. I feel like my thoughts paralleled student feelings. Careful and reserved at first because you’re in a new group, but as time goes on and you feel safer there is the ability to open up more and try something new as confidence is gained.
9. If I ever get to be a literacy coach (I finished my training last year and then due to the pandemic, budget, and other variables out of my control, I didn’t start coaching this year and it is currently on hold), I want to share this community as was done for me by my literacy coach years ago. Maybe I will still find a way still being a classroom teacher longing to coach.
10. I am excited to continue writing more! Although I won’t be posting everyday, I will certainly make more time to write as it’s rather therapeutic and gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I will turn my sights to the Classroom Slice of Life Challenge now as I search for classes to connect with my second graders.
So as March comes to a close, I feel grateful to have been a part of this year’s challenge! I look forward to posting on Tuesday’s #SOL call. Thank you to Two Writing Teachers and the strong community they’ve created for promoting and celebrating writing!