Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Adventures in Writing

I'm taking a MOOC, my very first MOOC, called How Writers Write Fiction by the University of Iowa.  What's a MOOC, you ask? It is a Massive Open Online Course.

This is exciting and scary.  I keep reminding myself that we ask kids to do scary things all.the.time.  Much in the way that I strongly believe the world would be an altogether more lovely place if EVERYONE on the planet had to spend some time waiting tables and school administrators would be stronger collaborative partners with classroom teachers by spending some time in the classroom as a substitute on the regular, I believe that those of us who are continually requiring students to stretch themselves to grow ought to practice what we preach.  Thus, my enrollment into my MOOC.

I've been completing the assignments.  I've been pushing myself out of my comfort zone.  I've been opening my writing up to critique from other writers.  I am anxious about how my writing will be received.  Our kids are, too.

Sometimes I'm so tired at night when I finally have a moment to sit down and make time to write that I feel like all my creativity has already beat me to the bed.  Our kids feel that, too.

I have looked at a prompt with wide blank eyes,  not even sure I actually understand it, much less have anything whatsoever worth saying.  Sometimes our kids do, too.

Comparison may be the thief of joy, but she certainly is no stranger to me.  I read the work of others and find myself worrying that I will never measure up.  Our kids feel that way, too.

With all that said I'm having a ball, y'all.  I love writing.  I love learning.  I love growing.
Know what?  Our kids do, too.

Let's all work to keep that in mind--not to make smooth the road before them--we all have our paths to walk in life and learning to measure those bumps in the road evens up our rough edges and ultimately make us who we are-- but rather to show compassion, grace, & mercy--especially in the difficult times when those roads that must be traveled are twisting and turning and filled with brambles.

We are encouragers.  We are cheerleaders.  We are students ourselves.


  1. I want to try a MOOC someday. There are so many options out there! I love writing, too. I'm trying to get my students to jump in and test the waters, as well. Most of their experiences have centered around prompts and assignments. "Just write!" I say. Jennifer Sniadecki

  2. In a professional organization I’m a member of, I ask veteran teachers to write one short original essay a year. I'm always surprised when teachers flatly refuse the request. Most will say, "I'm not a writer." Neither are most students, but we force them to do it anyway.

    For two days I'm been starring at my computer waiting for a writing inspiration. It's hard sometimes, and I do feel our students' pain. But when I finish my essay I almost always feel a sense of accomplishment or maybe it is relief.