Thursday, August 10, 2017

The JOY of Cooking

I think I'm experiencing a sort of "nesting."

You may be familiar with the concept of nesting as it pertains to pregnant women. Right before labor, moms get this overwhelming urge to prepare their home for the arrival of their baby. They clean, organize and do other preparations to create a welcoming home for their new one.

The thing is though -- I'm not pregnant.

As a matter of fact, my two children are both leaving for college in a few weeks. My husband and I will be EMPTY nesters.

So why do I think I'm nesting?

As my kids are getting ready to leave, I'm feeling the overwhelming urge to send a bit of home with them. To create mementos of home that will remind them of our nest and all the love it holds for them.

Food is one way I find myself doing this.

As the number of home-cooked meals they have left to enjoy is counting down, I find myself wanting to make their favorites (fettuccini alfredo with chicken, terriyaki chicken, PMS Pie...).

Last week, I baked their favorite cookies (soft pumpkin).

This week, I've made four batches of jam (strawberry x 2, blackberry and mixed berry) so they would have some to take to school with them.
I have always found that cooking is one way I show my love for those I care about. It brings me great JOY to cook or bake something for someone else to enJOY.

So as my baby birds are getting ready to fly away from our nest, I will continue to stuff their bellies with the goodness of home. It is my hope that once they are out in the world and they think back to their time at home, they will feel JOY remembering the taste of home.


What does JOY mean to you? What brings you JOY? How do you sprinkle JOY in your day? Write about it and share your post with the #TeachWrite community by linking up to our blog here.
The #TeachWrite chat is dedicated to supporting teachers of writers and teachers who write. Join us for our next chat on Monday, September 4th at 7:30PM EST. You can sign up for the Remind here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I Was Not Expecting This {SOL 8.08.17}

We all know writing can be a lonely act.

The writer sits alone at the computer or journal and pours her heart out onto the page. Those words will often stay silent, only seen by the writer's eye.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Thanks to communities such the Slice of Life community, and Twitter, we are able to connect with other writers -- to share our words, our hopes, our fears, our celebrations, our reflections, and more.

Last night was the debut of our #TeachWrite chat and let me just say -- I was overwhelmed with the response and the sheer number of teachers and teacher-writers who came out to be a part of the conversation about how we can grow our practice of being teachers who write. At the end of the hour long chat, there were over 1,000 tweets!

I came up with the idea for this chat a few months ago after trolling Twitter for tweets about teaching writing and not finding much. I found a lot about reading, Genius Hour, makerspaces, and innovative teaching practices, but not a lot about writing.

Twitter is an amazing connection tool, but it is also an excellent professional development tool. There needed to be more conversation about this topic.

So I went to my friends Michelle Haseltine and Leigh Anne Eck (who I met right here at SOL) with the idea of starting a Twitter chat and they jumped on board without hesitation. A little later, we talked Margaret Simon (another SOL friend) into joining us.

We want the #TeachWrite chat to serve the teachers who participate in the chat, whether actively tweeting, lurking, or reading the archives after. So we came up with a few guiding beliefs:

1.  The chat would focus on nurturing teachers as writers, not necessarily on teaching writing. We strongly believe that by being teachers who write, we are better writing teachers.

2. Every chat would end with an invitation to write. This is based on our experience with the National Writing Project Summer Institutes. (August's Invitation to Write can be found here.)

3.  Writers of ALL level are welcome to join in the conversation. You don't have to be published or a regular writer to participate and have a voice. You don't even need to have a blog. If you are even thinking of becoming a teacher-writer, we hope you will join us.

4. We would do all we could to support teachers who write.

I hope you were able to catch the #TeachWrite chat last night. I saw many familiar names and faces there.  If you missed it and would like to catch up, you can read the Storify here.

You can also answer the invitation to write on this month's topic - JOY! - and share your words by linking up on our #TeachWrite Chat blog.

Our #TeachWrite chat will be the first Monday of every month, rain or shine, holiday or not. That means our next chat will be Monday, September 4th (Labor Day) at 7:30 PM EDT. Need help remembering? Sign up for the Remind here.

What did last night's chat teach me?

1. My words matter.
2. Connections matter.
3. I don't have to do this alone.
4. Teachers are the most generous, caring, supportive people on earth. (Actually...I already knew this one. The chat just cemented it deeper in my heart.)
5. There was a desperate need for a regular conversation around writing.
6. Sometimes tiny ideas turn into huge wins!