This is my first year to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge. I thought about it in other years but never really took the plunge. I must admit, I have missed two so far.
One night, I got home after another 15 hour day and was simply so tired I just crawled into bed. As I curled up, I remembered I hadn't sliced yet and thought, "I am going to just miss this one." I gave myself permission to skip.
Last night, I forgot to slice too. I woke up early and worked quietly on lesson plans and grading in the hotel room, while my son slept in. Then we started our day. I wanted to go to The Strand, because I always go to The Strand when I'm in New York. I bought The Love U Hate; I am forcing myself to wait and read it this summer with a girl I tutor. Then we went to Stephen's old job so he could see some friends.
By the time we got him it was early evening and I simply had forgotten.
But, twenty days in, I am starting to lag. I am wondering if I have enough to say. I am questioning my purpose in this endeavor.
I imagine that is how our students feel at time. Why am I doing this? What is the point? Weariness - of the body and the soul - can be debilitating.
I know why I slice. I believe that, to be a better teacher of writing, I need to write myself. However, this year, I don't teach writing - just reading. So - again - why am I doing this?
Maybe to be a part of a community? I do enjoy reading others posts. I enjoy reading the comments left on mine. I feel connected when I realize I am not the only teacher that wants nothing more than a quiet Friday night in front of the TV after a busy week.
It's important that we understand the why behind what we do.
I introduced the idea of writing a letter as a readers response today. From a character to a character. To a character from you. From the character to you. All sorts of options. One 2nd grader asked, "Can I write a letter to the author?"
"What do you want to say to the author? What would be the purpose of your letter?"
"I would tell her what I learned from reading the book."
"Yes, that would be a great readers response."
So, tonight, I search for my purpose. I don't want to "phone it in." I want my commitment to participate in the 2017 Slice of Life challenge to have meaning - to me mostly. Even though I am struggling, at times, to think of something meaningful to say, I keep going. Because sometimes the purpose it just that - - to keep going until you discover it. Or it discovers you.
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for the opportunity to share this slice of my life.