So, Stacey invited me to be part of a Slice of Life Facebook Live event, talking about the March Challenge coming up. The invitation email, like the organization, was very professional and I know she and Betsy put a ton of thought into what this first time event could look like!
No, not sweet! Ok, maybe a little. This year will be my sixth year doing the March Challenge, and I’m really looking forward to it for a couple of reasons.
- Just a pressure to write for a month is a good pressure. I wrote about the first time I “failed” to get a writing done for the March Challenge. I was ticked off too!! So, my plan is to get some “pre-writings” done before hand, get my blogs set up, and just be ready for the work this takes!
2. Each year, this gets a little bit bigger. I’ve tried to pull other people into the challenge with little luck. I get one of two responses: a big eye roll (OMG , why do you do THAT?) or a look of horror like “I can’t write, people my SEE my feelings and then *gasp* ask my about them”.
3. This time of year, you need a spark. Spring is almost here but yet, March always brings a snowstorm and cold weather. You can count on the March Challenge to usher in warmer weather and great writing by some amazing people.
So getting back to the live event, the people made me nervous. Truly. I looked at last list and went “damn” because they were the big hitters both of this community and a larger educational community. Who was I to think I deserved air time talking about my writing?
However, I’ve been working on pushing some comfort zones, so I agreed and honestly, I’m glad that I did. Like I said above, Betsy and Stacey were both super organized and real easy to talk with about my experience. The best part, seeing and hearing people that I know are amazing educators. Let’s be honest, the likelihood of me making it to an ELA/writing conference is slim to none. Our district is dealing with a lot right now, so professional development is a tough sell. After my nervousness about being on camera, the thought of listening to these skilled professionals talk, even for a few minutes made the choice to join in an easy one. And they were all so good! They talked of their experiences, the power of being a teacher-writer, and how they were brought into the Challenge.
All in all, this was a great experience and it got me even more jazzed up to make this work in my schedule. I’ll have my notebook near by as I’m gather ideas over the next month, prepping for a great Slice of Life Challenge 2021!
I appreciated the invitation to be part of the Facebook Live event (ego boosts are never bad), and if you are interested, it’s on the Two Writing Teachers Facebook page!
And if you do watch it, skip over the dude looking really nervous on the camera. He didn’t have much to say! 🙂
February 2, 2021 at 5:41 pm
I loved the live event…although I didn’t catch it live. It was so fun to see and hear the people I feel like I know, on screen…not just their writing. I felt like I was seeing my friends. You nailed it!
February 2, 2021 at 10:41 pm
It was well worth the little bit of stress to “see” both in chat and on screen the people I’ve learned about for years! 🙂
February 2, 2021 at 6:01 pm
Oh my goodness – I’m smiling & maybe even laughing a little because I felt almost exactly the same way! I haven’t done this long enough! These other writers (that includes you!) are so good! What will I have to add? And yet… like so much about SOL, it was fun and pushed my comfort zone just the right amount. I’m so glad we did it! And I’m also team #getyourpoopinagroup – March is going to be something else this year…here we go!
February 2, 2021 at 10:42 pm
Here we go indeed! Thank you for letting me know I wasn’t the only thinking what will I have to add! 🙂
February 2, 2021 at 6:13 pm
I’m sure you were awesome! I have to watch the video. I love all the reasons you shared here about why the March challenge is so valuable!
February 2, 2021 at 10:43 pm
It was a very real experience that I’m glad had the chance to see our SOL writers! 🙂
February 2, 2021 at 7:03 pm
I will watch the video. I remember that first year and how our little group got together from such far flung locales. Jessica, you, and I being encouraged along by such a terrific welcome wagon writer. His writing style so different from mine, yet he always found something to point out. I feel like we are long lost friends writing each other a note once a week and then having some sort of a crazy reunion once a year. Don’t sell your place in the community short. I never miss a word.
February 2, 2021 at 10:48 pm
>Don’t sell your place in the community short. I never miss a word.<
And this is why you are so impactful with your students, because you are the same way with adults. Your words carry such meaning and power. Thank you for being part of this group! 🙂
February 2, 2021 at 7:40 pm
Hmmmm….You didn’t seem nervous! One of the things I love about this group is that we are all professionals and yet amateurs. It’s part of the learning that we all feel like we can find someone who knows more than us, yet we feel welcome to dive in anyway.
Every year I think I am going pre-write some posts. I usually have a little list of topics to pull from. But every year I get into the groove and I don’t need them any more! Writing every day changes my brain!
February 2, 2021 at 10:45 pm
>But every year I get into the groove and I don’t need them any more! <
That is so true! The challenges forces me to be mindful of what is around me and notice more! I love how it does literally change your brain! 🙂
February 2, 2021 at 9:46 pm
“He didn’t have much to say!” FALSE!!!!!!!!!! Or as our students would say “this is totally sus.” (I hope I’m using that correctly.) You had plenty to say that was so meaningful. I do like the notebook idea and as a Type A and Enneagram 8 this something I may do this year.
February 2, 2021 at 10:46 pm
I’ve not stupid notebooks all over the place. I even bought these little pocket notebooks that are water resistant! #nerdalert
And thank you for calling me “sus”. That’s slang that hasn’t made it’s way into rural Iowa quite yet! LOL!!
February 2, 2021 at 10:47 pm
Is that a hint to send some pocket protectors your way soon?
February 2, 2021 at 10:49 pm
I’ve got some masks that set my students off when I wear them, but if I wore a pocket protector, they’d be puzzled! 🙂
So, no, no pocket protectors….at least not yet! Hee hee!
February 3, 2021 at 8:53 pm
Darin, I think we all felt a bit of the YIKES factor – but how wonderful it was to actually hear you speak about your own writing and that with students. Like you, I learned a couple of Challenges ago to have some drafts started – it turned into starting a draft with any picture I might want to write about or sometimes just a few notes saved as a draft, until the idea gels. I may never write them all but it’s funny how many I will go back to, much later. I have about 33 in there now. I love seeing what each day brings to mind, though! Thanks for all you contribute – write on:)
February 5, 2021 at 5:39 am
Now I’m sorry I missed the live event! I will have to go back and watch it. I think we all get nervous when we have to present something, especially live now that we’re more used to pre-made slide decks and emails taking over our teaching. Looking forward to another year of the SOLSC, too!