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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

National Writing Project and All That Jazz

This morning I presented at the California State University San Marcos branch of the National Writing Project.
It's called Cal State Stair Master for a reason!

My talk was on balancing the life of a writer with that of a teacher--something I struggle with all the time!  I am no expert, and preparing the powerpoint really made me think about what I do and why I do it, and what I would do differently, and what I would never change.

Self-reflection is very powerful and good.

I also met a lot of great folks who are like me, teacher and writers.  That's what's so amazing about the NWP.  Some really smart people realized a long time ago that if we want kids to write better, we need to support the writing efforts of teachers.  I mean, I would never ask someone who had never skydived HOW TO SKYDIVE!  I can teach writing better (though I am far from perfect) because I drag my butt to the computer (or my writing notebook) and make it happen every single day (mostly.)  I understand how sometimes it is hard for kids to get their ideas across the way they want because, guess what?  It happens to me, too.  There are ideas kids have that they can't seem to let go of in their writing, themes or topics that they visit again and again and that we as teachers really hope they'll get over soon because, sheesh.   Well, that happens to me, too. (I am looking at you, Chicken Wizard.)

If you are a teacher reading this, check out the NWP.  If you are a parent, see if any of the teachers at your child's school are fellows of the project.  If not, maybe they would be interested...there's lots of teaching folks who love writing.  

And if you are a student reading this, (and you are nearby) my class for the Carlsbad Educational Foundation is almost full.  It's from July 22 to July 26.  

Well, off to the movies.  

What summer movie has you lined up at the door?  You WON"T believe mine!



Julie Dao said...

I would have loved to hear you talk, Shelley! I agree with you that teachers' writing efforts should be supported so that their students can glean even more from their lessons. Plus, if your enthusiasm shines through, just think about many more kids will pick up a book or think about picking up a pen!

Myrna Foster said...

I'm teaching creative writing and an applied science class, and sometimes I'm frustrated that I've spread myself so thin. But really, I'm glad I decided to teach; I'm filling a need, especially for the 10-14 year old writers who love writing but aren't sure how to do something with that. It has seriously cut into my own writing time, though. If I do it again, it won't be every summer. Teaching all of those other months, I need my summers for writing and mommy time.

I'm holding out for Chicken Wizard. It'll come. :o)