During my first year of teaching, one of the first things I observed were teachers and their need for coffee. I wanted to develop that addiction. I loved the smell of coffee, the fancy travel mugs and the hope it seemed to provide my colleagues. I started slow...I bought a new fancy travel mug and filled it with orange juice. I was scared to take the next step of actually drinking real coffee. I wasn't ready to spend $5 on a cup of coffee, just to hate the taste. Besides, it's almost like you have to learn a new language to be a true, social coffee drinker. I had to study what my colleagues were drinking. I watched them order their fifteen word (in Italian) fancy coffee drink, and stood back in awe. Seriously, how are these people able to order so fast, in a different language, without coffee helping their brains to function? Eventually, the peer pressure was too much and I ordered my first White Chocolate Mocha at a fancy nationwide coffee chain. I drank that same coffee for almost two years, and will still order it if my colleagues or friends are with me. I am not comfortable trying a new fancy coffee drink, if there are people I know listening to me order. I have learned to trust my local barista (we've recently moved...must find new local, helpful barista) when it comes to branching out and trying new drinks. I am not yet ready to dive into the world of non-fancy coffee. After only being a coffee drinker for a quick, two years I am still acquiring the taste of actual coffee. However, I can now proudly state I have a coffee addiction, carry around my travel mug and cry when I forget my morning coffee.
My new found coffee addiction is very similar to the journey I am on within developing myself as a writer. I read my colleagues and twitter friends blogs everyday. I am constantly left in awe after reading about their students, teaching practices and reflections as learners. I am determined to make myself a better writer. This is something I have struggled with, and lacked confidence about for years. I want to become a writer for my students, because they have ideas, stories and lives within their brains that need to be released. If I am a writer, I can become a mentor to help teach, encourage and support them through that process. I have dabbled in writing. In a box, in my basement, you will find about fifteen writer's notebooks with about 3/4 the pages blank. I gave up. I was trying to make my notebook look like Penny Kittle, Carl Anderson or Ralph Fletcher's notebooks. It just wasn't working for me. Something I have learned, and finally accepted, as I've been on the journey to acquire a taste for writing, is that I need to make my writing my own.
What I know about myself as a writer:
1. I'm a novice. I will make mistakes in grammar, word choice and ideas. Failure is okay, as long as I learn from it.
2. I get excited about it. Sometimes a little too excited, and my ideas aren't completely developed.
3. I have low self-confidence about my writing. This is something I am working on, and will only take time and practice to fix.
4. Writing makes me grouchy! There needs to be absolute silence when I'm writing (pretty much impossible when raising three kids under six years old).
5. I fizzle at the end. I am still trying to figure out how to end a piece of writing without it being dull and boring.
Who I want to be as a writer:
1. I want to be confident. I still want to feel confident about my ideas and reflections, even if no one provides me feedback on them.
2. I want my thoughts to be well developed.
3. I want my reading to be engaging for readers.
4. I want to be a mentor for developing writers (students and adults).
5. I always want to be growing and reflective.
6. I want to use my writer's notebook daily - even if it means using it for my grocery list!
I have to admit, it's been a fun summer trying to acquire my taste for writing! My goal is to keep this momentum throughout the school year, and to openly share my journey with my new students.