As educators, we put so much of ourselves into our teaching lives. We are not only teachers, but also nurses, coaches, referees, mentors, therapists, and even sometimes parents for our students. We buy books and supplies for our classroom with our own money. We spend much of our free time learning how to do our jobs better by searching blogs and reading websites.
And through all of this, we sometimes forget about taking care of ourselves and our own lives.
This past Monday night, we held our monthly #TeachWrite Twitter chat. Our topic was “Being a Goal-Getter in 2018.” The response to our chat was beyond our wildest dreams. We had more first-time visitors that we could count and over 1,000 tweets were shared. (If you missed the chat, you can read the Storify archive here.)
Why is this so exciting?
Because it shows that many of us are taking the pledge to spend some time on ourselves in the new year by working on ourselves and our own writing lives.
Not sure if writing is for you? Don’t think you have enough time in your day for writing? It doesn’t take much time or effort to write a little every day. Even as much as five minutes works!
There are many benefits to being a teacher who writes. I’m not a doctor, but I’ll share some of my own findings:
Writing regularly helps you become more present throughout the day. You notice things you might not have noticed otherwise.
Writing helps you clarify your thoughts. As you search for that ‘just right’ word, you gain a better perspective on what you’re writing about.
Writing can answer questions. Often times, I don’t know what I think about something until I write about it.
Writing makes you slow down. It takes time. It’s hard to do anything else while you’re writing.
Writing creates a living document. After memories fade or you have left this earth, your writing will live on.
As a writer, you will find it MUCH easier to teach writing in your classroom.
Writing connects you with others. There are a lot of other teacher-writers out there and thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find them and build your tribe. I’ve met some of my best friends this way.
Writing makes you cool. Others will look up to you because you make something that is often seen as difficult look easy. (And it will impress your kids!)
Becoming a writer is not very difficult if you give it a try. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
What was your favorite part of the holidays? Your least favorite?
What do you imagine your life will be like at this time next year?
Finish one of these statements: I don’t remember…; If only…; Why would…
Try a notebook prompt from Amy Ludwig Vanderwater’s Sharing Our Notebooks site
Let a word inspire you. Choose a random word from the dictionary or search the #DWHabit hashtag on Twitter for a new word every day.
If you are looking for more support as you begin (or grow) your writing journey, we invite you to join the Teach Write Tribe on Facebook. It is a private group for teachers (or any educator) who writes. We offer daily inspiration, community and just may be the push you need to pick up your pen and start writing.
Wishing you a 2018 full of many written words!
Make 2018 Your Best Year YET!
Looking for help with your writing practice or
your writing instruction?
Teach Write is dedicated to helping teachers and their students grow as writers. We offer virtual and in-person coaching and professional development services to help you grow your writing habit and/or become a stronger teacher of writers.
Contact us today for more information!