Teachers Write 7.31.15 Saying goodbye…writing on…

It’s hard to believe we’re already winding down another summer of Teachers Write, but the smell of number two pencils is in the air, and we know that it’s almost time for you to turn your attention to your classrooms and libraries. Gae has your last Friday Feedback of the summer here. Today’s a good day to take a chance and share if you haven’t already. Imagine telling your students how you were nervous but decided to give it a try…

To choose the winner of our signed copy of ECHO and signed ARC of THE MARVELS, I called to my daughter in the kitchen and asked her to choose a number between 1 and 35 to go along with your comments on the contest blog post. After she hollered back, “Why am I doing this?!” (She is almost 14 and suspicious of my motivations sometimes) she called out, “Three!” That means Linda Mitchell is our winner! Linda, shoot me a message on FB with your address so I can send your books.

There’s no official writing prompt today, but if you’d like to share  thoughts on how your writing went this summer and how you’ll bring your experiences back to the classroom, please feel free to do that in the comments, along with our end-of-camp hugs & goodbyes.

I’m having a tougher than usual time letting go of Teachers Write this summer…maybe because you’ve all written so bravely and been such an inspiration. So yesterday, I was thinking that we might try something new during this school year — little Teachers Write reunions from time to time. They won’t happen on a schedule. They’ll happen when I read something wonderful and manage to cajole the author to come visit, to share a glimpse behind the curtain and the craft behind the story and an invitation for you to try a little of that kind of writing, too.  So be sure to stay connected to us on Facebook & Twitter for a little community writing here and there during the school year, too.

For now, I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my childhood favorites.

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”   ~E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

It’s been a gift writing with all of you, and like Wilbur, I am thankful. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful rest of the summer and a spectacular, inspired start to your new school year.

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30 Comments

  1. Posted July 31, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Kate, thank you for Teachers Write this year. Although I as not as visual on here I participated every day. With all of the wonderful guests you had this year, like every year, I lerned so much. I was able to look at my WIP as I revise and see ways I could make it better. i was able to look at areas where I had a problem and try out something new and realize it was what I needed all along. Most importantly, I was able to reflect back on issues students had last year and say to myself that ‘such and such lesson’ just might solve that issue. I was able to make notations on lesson plans to try these new things out with them. Thank you and I look forward to staying connected for the little mini reunions. I also look forward to the Ranger story that will come from your research in Iceland. Write on!

  2. Andy Starowicz
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Hi, Kate!

    Thank you for another splendid summer. I will be honest that I am completely surprised by the progress that I made with my writing. With a very busy work and home schedule, I imagined very little writing get done this summer. I was wrong. I learned from the valuable writing lessons, and I was truly inspired by so many wonderful people, authors and campers. Thank you again!

  3. Sue Crean
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    This was my first Teacher’s Write and I admit I only tiptoed in, but I still picked up valuable tips and was introduced to some of the wonderful writing of our author- mentors. Thank you for extending yourself!

  4. Posted July 31, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed our writing lessons! So many new ideas to use with my kiddos. Ranger on the Oregon Trail is gonna be my first read-aloud this year. School starts next Thursday.

  5. Posted July 31, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Teacher’s Write seemed to go by so fast! Thank you for organizing the wonderful line up of guest posters to inspire us! I will use this as a resource even after the summer ends when I get stuck on something. Looking forward to the mini-reunions already.

    Last year I had a very hard summer, with some medical issues for my mom, and through it all, Teacher’s Write kept me going and helped me draft a novel. This summer, Teacher’s Write was again a great support as I worked on revisions to that novel. It’s a wonderful community. And it has made me reflect on ways that I might help older students in my school with their writing (my own students are kindergarteners so don’t write much).

    Hope you have a wonderful trip! (Your daughter sounds a lot like my 16 year old.)

  6. Gloria
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Kate, What a wonderful opportunity Teachers Write has been for me this summer. I have told several of my teacher and librarian friends about how much I have learned from the author’s and the actual writing. They want to sign up for next summer. I would love to have the mini-reunions during the year. This is the first week I haven’t written every day. I applied for a last-minute job opening and interviewed yesterday. I have been selected, but I have to wait on background checks and reference checks for the offer to be official. Thank you so much for all the behind-the-scenes organizing and planning that you do.
    By the way, is everything from the summer archived so I can access comments, or should I copy and paste them to store?

    • Posted July 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      It all stays on my blog – it’ll be here if you want to use it later on.

  7. Dean Chart
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I am working on writing up my thoughts more completely, but to summarize: This opportunity made me set a reasonable, concrete goal for writing every day, it made me feel like yes, I can be a writer, and it made me think a lot more about what my students need from me to support them as writers. Thanks to all those who gave their time and kind words here.

  8. Andrea Lorenz
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    It’s the last official day of camp, sniff sniff! Though the time has flown by, the gems I will take away from the TW camp (new friends, new project ideas, new thinking) are invaluable. I feel so fortunate for having found this group online, and I can’t believe the wealth of knowledge that the authors and fellow campers are willing to share! Not to mention the time and effort that the “camp counselors”: Kate Messner, Gae Polisner, Jo knowles and Jen Vincent, have put into it! Lots of great titles to check out and ideas to share with my students. Also, I have (fingers crossed) joined a critique group which was something I truly did not expect to happen and am so excited about. Author Sarah Albee mentioned this camp to me back in March at a book signing and I am ever grateful to her for it! I can’t say enough great things about Teachers Write, and I look forward to joining again next summer (maybe with some reunions peppered in between)! Thank you! Thank you!

  9. Brian Rozinsky
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Well *that* certainly went by quickly!

    Much appreciation to Kate, Gae, Jo, Jen, and all the guest authors who volunteered their time and expertise. This space for writing and sharing (not to mention bulking up my reading list) has again helped me recharge — as a teacher and a writer. I am grateful.

  10. Posted July 31, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Teachers Write is a wonder. I highly recommend it to all my teacher friends and when I give workshops. You are doing good work in this world! Thank you for organizing it and filling it with creative energy and thank you to everyone who bravely wrote and shared in the comments.

  11. Susan MacKay-Logue
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    This is surprisingly hard to put into words. This was my first year sharing in Teacher’s Write. I have been a stalker in the past. The process of following the lessons and putting work out there for others to see has been transformative. I feel like I have a tool belt filled with great minis for my students and a direction for my WIP. I have written in the same territory for years without a true direction. This year’s camp and the generous comments from guest authors, campers, and of course, Kate, Gae, Jo, and Jen, have helped me find that direction.

    I have to say that I was so reluctant to dive in, but two years ago, my daughter had moved to Providence to attend RISD to get her Masters in Printmaking. My husband was visiting her from California and they were looking for things to do, I read that Kate was doing a book signing at a local elementary (Providence CAN’T be that big) so I asked, for my birthday present, to have them go buy any of Kate’s books and have her sign it for me. I already had Real Revision, which I use every week in the classroom-Revision Wednesdays, so anything else would be great. My Kate was so sweet to hunt Kate down, and our Kate was so gracious and inviting to her, and therefore, to me that I was immediately drawn to all things Kate. That led me to this blog, which led to my stalking last year, which led to my participation this year. To the guest authors and our camp leaders, it’s those little things that you do on the daily, that attract people to you, that inspire those around you, and that make you tremendous human beings. I truly thank you. It has been a wonderful ride.

    • Posted July 31, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      I remember signing that book for you and thought it was so sweet that your daughter was there to make sure you got your book. I’m so glad you’re writing with us now!

      • Susan MacKay-Logue
        Posted July 31, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        Kate, I can’t believe you remember that! I was so happy to share Bossy Fish with my class when I got it. They were so excited to see your signature inside.

    • Posted July 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for making me cry again. I’m so happy you’re on your way, susan! KEEP GOING! <3

      • Susan MacKay-Logue
        Posted July 31, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Gae. I don’t mean to sound creepy, but I feel like I’ve gotten to know you a bit this summer and I like you! You are sassy and smart and funny and generous and up for adventure. I like that in people. So, by the transitive property, I like that in you 😉

  12. Jen Caldwell
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for another amazing summer of Teachers Write. I look forward to it each year and am very excited by the possibility of mini-reunions! These mini-lessons, Q&A’s, prompts, and opportunities for feedback have been so valuable. Even when I don’t post, I benefit from others! (Thanks for posting, Others!) I, too, have added to my reading list and made progress on a WIP. My mind continues to spin and hum as I think about what else to do in my work and how to use what I’ve learned with my students. Happy August to All and Happy New Year!

  13. Jennifer Kraar
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Kate, how can I thank-you? Let me count the ways. Although I was traveling and packing for a major move most of July, Teacher’s Write inspired me to find time to write. Your guest authors were tops – their prompts got my “mojo” working. It was exciting to meet authors I hadn’t encountered before. You also created a community of writers – so positive and willing to share. This is the first time I’ve had a WIP – following your 59 Reasons to Write is guiding me in this endeavor. My daughter is in Iceland now through early next week – perhaps you will bump into her. 🙂

  14. Posted July 31, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I read this earlier in the day and couldn’t quite respond right away.
    Truth is, I’m not ready to be done….I’m not ready to turn the calendar page.
    And yet, I cannot imagine my life without being a Teacher Librarian. It’s so much of who I am…..so I have to recognize the only way to be able to come back is to say goodbye and go.
    Thank you are words too small for the love, support and encouragement I have felt from Gae, Kate, Jen and Jo. It’s so incredibly special that these successful people have given so freely to us. The LEAST of what I can do is purchase your books. Are you kidding?! No worries on that.
    But, someday when I thank all my peeps and “many others” in my dedication….every single person reading this is included in that. Thank you.
    Go forth and write the snot out of life….get your students into the mess of reading and writing and the joy of being part of the full circle of literature. I’m there with ya and a BUNCH of middle school kids and their teachers. Hugs and mwah to you all. Have a great school year!

    • Posted July 31, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I think “Go forth and write the snot out of life….” needs to be our new motto!

      • Posted July 31, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Hah, TW tee shirts: “Write the Snot Out of Life” Someone go make those! 😉 xox Linda, Keep going!

  15. Andrea Page
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Dear Kate and all,
    It saddens me to read that this is the last day. (I knew it was coming…denial, denial…)

    I look forward to learning from all the inspiring authors and this year seemed special with so many great mini-lessons and prompting to get us writing. I am not quite done going back through the lessons I missed, but I’m sure they will help me improve- in writing and in teaching. Thanks for another great summer. I wish everyone the best in your writing endeavors and hope your school year is fantastic!
    Cheers-
    Andrea

  16. Posted July 31, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the kind words. Again – it has been such a joy writing with all of you this summer. If you’re at NCTE in the fall, please-please-please come find me and give me a hug. 🙂

  17. Posted July 31, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Kate — another summer made more splendid because of you and your fab team of authors! Thank you to everyone who showed up and did the work. 🙂 As always, I am hugely appreciative to have this time to read, write, and learn with all of you. Loving the idea of some pop-up reunions throughout the year. <3 Cue the fireworks! (and tears, I think. Will miss reading so much of what everyone shares each day!)

  18. Darlene Stewart
    Posted July 31, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the wonderful posts and inspiration.

  19. Posted August 1, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I have truly enjoyed your blog posts. How cool you get to do research in Iceland! (especially in summer!) Thank you so much for hosting Teachers Write!

  20. MargaretBolingMullin
    Posted August 1, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Kate, Gae, Jo, Jen,

    Thanks so much to everyone for the behind the scenes organizing, cajoling, moderating, etc. This is such a huge professional service for teachers and librarians.

    I struggled with balance during #teacherswrite this summer. Balancing the social responsibilities to the community – reading and thoughtfully responding on the blog posts with the responsibility to my own writing. In general, I chose manuscript writing over blog comments, so I may have been less visible than I would have liked.

    That said, I did find a community of teacher writers, have been participating in the Write 30 google doc, and have new friends on FB. I know that we will continue to cheer each other on. Likewise, I look forward to reunions. Kelly Mogk and I are going to continue with the google doc – join us here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NUdpsMOSB-JV7sk7WlnQGArX8LnJ3ypqj38JqcxTEZ0/edit#gid=658196103

    Writing with my students: As an ENL interventionist I have far less time for writing workshop than I’d like, though I do plan to use some of the focused lessons from this summer and 59 Reasons. I also plan to print the chapter book ms I worked on in a book format and invite my students to read, give feedback, and illustrate for class use. We’ll see if “real” querying/publication comes at some future time.

    Thanks everyone,
    Go forth and write the snot out of life. 🙂 Margaret

  21. Dalila Eckstein
    Posted August 1, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Last Saturday, I said goodbye to my son as he headed off to Japan, and this Saturday, I’m saying goodbye to my TW camping friends. It’s tough to do goodbyes, and I feel all sorts of emotional because these two events were tied together for me this summer. I am grateful for the opportunity and encouragement you provided, Kate, Gae, Jo, and Jen, as well as the guest authors, and fellow campers. You gave me a chance to explore my writer self, and because of it, I did more writing than I would have predicted at the outset, but even more importantly, it gave me a place and a way to work through a milestone event in my life, and a way to share that experience with others. It was terrifying and rewarding to put my writing out there, and I will take that feeling and experience back to my classroom, where I will be one of many writers struggling to express myself, beside my students who will benefit from the extraordinary wealth of information you have afforded us through TW camp. Reading your books hardly seems like enough of a thank you, but reading them I am! And, I will Tweet about your books as I finish them, and talk about them, and recommend them.

    When I said goodbye to my son, I knew it was not exactly goodbye because although he will be far for a while, already there have been texts and emails, and soon Skypes (when he has wifi), and eventually, we will be together again. That made it easier to hug and kiss him goodbye. So, Kate, thank you for planning to bring us together again for a few year-round reunions. It makes this finale a little less sad. I may still wander aimlessly on Monday though!

    Thank you.

  22. Posted August 2, 2015 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Dear Kate, Gae and everyone else of TW,

    Thank you for this wonderful, inspiring experience! This was my first participation in TW. I learned so much and enjoyed working through the posts and exercises. So many wonderful witting prompts, ideas and strategies. At times it was a bit tricky for me because I don’t have any WIP or prior pieces I could have used to work on but hope this will be different when we meet next. Already before the summer, the Primary School Literacy Coordinator at our school suggested we use 59 Reasons to Write as our next professional book club book, starting in September. I am excited that I will continue writing and know in addition to the book we will be looking at the blog posts from TW as well. Thanks again to everyone for the inspiration, support and encouragement. Warmly, Tanja

  23. Marion Bageant
    Posted August 3, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    I stumbled across your Writer’s Camp for the first time this summer and I thoroughly enjoyed the tips, the how to’s and the real writing that happened. I engaged in a few prompts, and let me tell you, for me, it was not easy. I don’t see myself as a writer and I learned it takes a lot of thinking—good, deep thinking. I can now really relate to my third graders during Writer’s Workshop. I know I will be referring to your “59 Ways” a whole bunch this year. My writing community and Writerly Life in the classroom will feel real thanks to all of you! I look forward to next summer and doing more:) I know I will be coming back to this blog for lots of rereading and redoing. Many thanks–you all are amazing.

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