Another Spin of the Writing Wheel


It is Slice of Life time again! In this, my third year slicing, I feel like I am returning to visit old friends – my once a year, secret convention of writing buddies. I was feeling a bit tentative this year, because my circumstances are a bit different. After six years teaching online from home while my son was small, I re-entered the classroom fray very abruptly in the fall. I am serious about the abruptly part. I signed my contract at 4:30 on Friday afternoon, and inservice started on Monday morning. My now big third grader is very excited that Mom gets to make real money again, and fervently hopes that I save it all up for a family trip to the fancy Disney resort in Hawaii.

After 14 years of teaching high school English, and 6 years of teaching high schoolers online, I now teach Humanities in a special program from highly gifted middle schoolers. After one whole semester survived by all, I am only semi-daunted at the fact that I have never taught the social studies components of Humanities or, for that matter, middle schoolers. I love my new job and my smart, maddening, funny, crazy 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, but I was worried that in the day to day hectic mess of trying to prep on the fly for a first year job, resuscitating my dormant classroom management skills, and walking the ever shifting tightrope of suddenly being a working mom (instead of a “more or less secretly working at home when no one notices mom”) and only occasionally falling off, that writing every day might just be too much. On the other hand, MATERIAL! Life in the classroom is ever so much more interesting than staring into my computer, out the window, and then back into my computer all day. Even more, I love the energy of this wonderful writing community, seeing what my blogging buddies are up to in their lives and classrooms around the world, and letting my inner writer out for a stroll along the keyboard, so here I am. Even my son is on board. When we were getting bored on Wednesday’s snow day, he handed me a notebook and said “You should start writing in this. Write about your life. You can start today.”

Armed with no previously planned agenda for writing, not enough time, the return of my sister (and her timely texts to remember to WRITE) to the SOLC after a year off (Go, readwriteteachmakedinner! We’ve got this!) , and, last but not least, the amazing list of 10 forms to try when you are out of ideas. posted by Elisabeth over at thedirigibleplum, I am ready to go. Maybe not raring to go, yet, after a week with a snow day, a sick day, another snow day, twelve straight hours of parent conferences, and a make-up half day at work to cover the portion of parent conferences missed on one of the snow days, but present and accounted for nonetheless. Tomorrow, I’ll feel less topsy turvy. Then, I’ll be raring!

For Elisabeth’s list of great ideas, take a look at this post: Amazing list from thedirigibleplum

See you all in the daily #SOLC19 links! Happy slicing, everybody!


10 thoughts on “Another Spin of the Writing Wheel

  1. Welcome back to the physical classroom life AND the SOL life! You are so right that being a classroom teacher will provide you with many writing topics. I need to get a few writing cheerleaders to help me get through this. Writing every day is definitely a commitment, but anyone who’s tried the March SOL challenge knows it’s SO worth it!


  2. So glad you are back! Congrats on the new gig. Sounds exciting! I think you’re a wonderful writer and I can’t wait to see what you craft this year.
    Fave line- “You should start writing in this. Write about your life. You can start today.”


  3. Thanks for sharing my post! I wrote it for selfish reasons, of course, but I hope it will be helpful to others too! “You can start today”–favorite line ever about writing. Yes, we can start right now. We can start over again right now. Your new position sounds like so much fun and also like so much work! I am so used to my leisurely college professor life now–planning for two classes a week instead of 5, teaching 4 preps instead of 7. The middle school and high school classroom seems like such a whirlwind!


    • The jobs definitely a whirlwind! One plus, though, is that we have extended time core classes, which means that I teach 3 eighty-five minute classes every day, rather than 7 or 8 classes. I picked up a creative writing elective class this semester too, so I teach that for 45 minutes every other day. After so many years of teaching high school and having usually at least 3 preps and 6 classes, they had to explain the concept to me a couple of times in my interview. I could not figure out how teaching three classes (and the same thing in all three of them!) = a full time job!


  4. I can’t imagine jumping back into teaching in the matter of a weekend, but it sounds like you’ve got amazing experiences already and I love working with middle school students – still young enough to (sometimes) want to learn, but also voicing their own opinions too!


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