I’ve been doing a lot of reading about reading and writing lately, particularly work by Nancie Atwell. She’s a dedicated, student-centered middle school teacher whose pedagogical ideas read like my teaching impulses would if they were clearly articulated statements (and not just impulses). She’s also a fierce believer in the power of reading and writing, not just for students but for everyone, including teachers. The quote up there is from one of her books (I think it’s from Lessons that Change Writers, but it might be In the Middle). Atwell urges teachers to read and write with their students, to wrangle and work out their own stories so that those stories don’t get lost. And here I am, the crazy-enthused teacher, promoting reading and writing to my students but doing very little of it myself. Bad, bad. I know what reading and writing can do for people–for me, specifically. Reading and writing carried me through some ugly, angsty, awkward experiences as a child and teenager. Somehow, though, at some point during all those years of college, I lost my joy reading and writing.
Since I landed the full-time, tenure-track dream job, reading and writing have been on my mental list of priorities, but I haven’t done a great job honoring that list. I want to read and write. I want to work out. I want to take pictures and make things (candles, blankets, bags. . . who knows?!). I want to cook unfamiliar food from recipes that sound good. I want to grow flowers and vegetables and not five-foot-tall weeds. I want to play guitar. And in with all of that, I want to continue working on becoming a fantastic teacher, dog-lover, and wife. There are all sorts of aspirations on that mental list that just live on the list, as good “someday” ideas that I envision happening when everything comes together and I have the perfectly organized, perfectly managed little life with all of the time I need carved out just as neatly as my flower beds will be at that point.
No, really. Get serious.
So my next venture into blogging land is born. Aspirations in all senses of the word–desires, goals, puffs of breath, and probably even puss removal–will live here. And this will be my story.