Today, when looking over some potential lessons for next school year, I ran across the old advice, "Write when your students write, and share your writer's notebook with them".
Right up there with "sleep when your baby sleeps," this is probably wise but practically difficult.
So I tried a test run of sorts.
I decided to write a "mentor text" of a personal essay prompt to inspire next year's budding writers.
It was standard stuff, an introductory essay to tell them a bit about my family, my preferences, my goals.
And y'all, it was hard.
Hard for lots of reasons.
Hard because writer's block shows up every spring with the same regularity as allergies.
Hard because I could hear myself rambling.
Hard because I can't share anything meaningful about myself without sharing Jesus, and that must be carefully navigated in public school.
As a teacher, I believe this practice will help me in the long run.
It will probably make me more empathetic--which is important to remember when the powers-that-be seem to think all children-of-the-square-peg variety can be jammed through the same round hole-of-testing if only
their teacher is differentiating/summarizing/reteaching/tap-dancing enough.
As just me, I think this practice will help me, too.
A few months ago, I confessed to a friend that I felt God might be leading me to write down what He was teaching me in John.
She laughed, and said, "Of course."
A few days ago, I confessed to this same friend that I was feeling ill with insecurity--that I didn't know how to begin.
She said, "Good! I'm praying you stay insecure so that you always know He is your source."
She's a very good friend, and a very good pray-er.
To paraphrase one of those Pinterest-y inspirational signs, here I go confidently in the direction of my insecurity.
(Or insecurely in the direction of my confidence? That might be a better way to say it.)
Maybe in the meantime, I'll share my writer's notebook with you.