October 20th was the National Day on Writing sponsored by NCTE. As their website says, “Every October 20, NCTE celebrates the importance, joy, and evolution of writing through a tweetup, using the hashtag #WhyIWrite and events hosted by thousands of educators across the country.” The belief is that writing is critical to literacy, but also to our quality of life. Raising awareness and appreciation for the role that writing plays in our lives is the goal of this event. This year NCTE created a new page WHY I WRITE to spread the conversation.
Teachers at my schools posed the question, “Why do you write?” to their students and got wide ranging responses, many predictable, some unexpected. A second grade student shared, “Writing calms me down.” demonstrating a benefit to writing that cannot be measured by assessments!
I saw countless responses on Twitter with the hashtag #WhyIWrite that helped me appreciate writing even more than I already do. Some were humorous, many were passionate, all were personal.
This week I will be a featured speaker at the Literacy For All 2017 Conference in Providence, RI. One of my sessions will be Who Says We Don’t Have Time To Write? designed to encourage and support teacher writers. I know those in attendance will most likely be the choir I will “preach” to, but I hope they can bring back some inspiration to their colleagues to inspire them to be writing teachers.
One aspect I will be discussing is how writing can enhance our lives beyond the classroom:
I mean, who doesn’t want these benefits?
I will also offer a Padlet of resources they can reference and share with colleagues that can offer ideas, tips, and inspiration.
I want teachers to reflect on Why I Write beyond October 20th each year and appreciate the important role writing can play in our lives each day. I hope that other teachers will spread the love of writing to students, families, and colleagues as well.
What’s On My Book Radar
Happy Teachers Change the World by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare
I have been building a practice of meditation and mindfulness the past few years and trying to bring that practice into my teaching and coaching. So I was thrilled when I saw my hero Thich Nhat Hanh and teachers from his Plum Village in France had authored a book with this very focus. Though I have just started it, I wanted to share this as a resource that could benefit every teacher. As their website says, “The instructions in Happy Teachers Change the World are offered as basic practices taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, followed by guidance from educators using these practices in their classrooms, with ample in-class interpretations, activities, tips, and instructions. Woven throughout are stories from members of the Plum Village community around the world who are applying these teachings in their own lives and educational contexts.” The practices start with ourselves and then extend to our students and classrooms in purposeful and mindful ways. If you are looking to bring more mindfulness into your life, this book could be the gift you deserve!