It’s hard to believe that our four weeks of writing together are winding down already, but please know that even though we’re not blogging every day, this community doesn’t go away when it’s time to sharpen pencils again. Being a teacher-writer isn’t a one-time professional development goal, so we hope your writing habit lasts far beyond September. Gae has one more Friday Feedback for you today. And Gae, Jo, Jennifer, and I – and most of your guest authors – are always around on social media. We’ll keep cheering for you (and your students!) throughout the school year.
Today’s writing prompt is one that I’ve included before, but I can’t say it any better for this year’s group of brave writers, so I’m sharing it once more…
You all showed up here in early July – some of you veterans, some of you brand new to Teachers Write and even new to the idea of putting words on paper and sharing them. It’s been an amazing summer of learning and writing. You’ve written bravely and shared with joy and fear and courage and all the other emotions that go along with opening up a bit of yourself to friends and strangers who are being brave, too. You’ve made me smile and laugh and cry sometimes, too, in all the best ways, and I am so proud of you.
So here’s one last assignment…
(You are being granted special time-travel abilities for this one.)
Write a letter to yourself of 4 weeks ago. It will be sent back through time and delivered to you on July 9th, 2017…right before you begin Teachers Write. What advice would you give yourself? What can you tell yourself about what the experience will be like and how it might change your writing or teaching?
Here’s the letter I wrote to my back-in-time self after our first summer of Teachers Write, back in 2012…
Today, you are going to notice some of your Twitter teacher-friends talking about their goals to write this summer, and it will occur to you that it might be fun to set up a virtual writing camp. Go ahead and do it, even though it’s not going to go the way you’re imagining. You’re probably picturing a dozen people, right? Maybe twenty? Multiply that by 100 and you’ll be a little closer. It’ll freak you out at first when you see all those people signing up, but don’t worry — they are amazing people who will be happy to be here and patient with your summer schedule. Besides, tons of generous and talented authors are going to show up to pitch in. This probably doesn’t surprise you, does it? The children’s and YA writer community is amazing like that.
What will surprise you is just how much you are moved when you sit down to read the comments every day. These teachers and librarians will be so smart, so brave. They will try new things. Some will be afraid at first, but they will be so good to one another, so supportive, that new voices will emerge every week. And these voices will be full of passion and beauty, humor and joy and poignancy. They will be amazing, and they will make you cry sometimes, in the best possible way.
So go on… Write that introductory blog post, even though you’re biting off way more than you know. It will be worth every second, and when August comes, you will not be ready to let go. Not even close.
Your turn now… Put today’s date on the paper, and then write your message to be sent to yourself, back through time. We’d love it if you’d all share this one in the comments.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer and have an amazing school year with your student writers. Be sure to tell them about your writing this summer. They’ll be so proud of you.