Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: As Your Reader… #SOL19 #TWTBlog
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Slice of Life: As Your Reader… #SOL19 #TWTBlog

It is 8:19 pm on Tuesday.  My to-do list is long.  The laundry pile is deep. The refrigerator is empty.  Friends are arriving in twenty-five minutes.

Just skip this week.

You can’t skip this week.

One week is okay.

No, it is not.

There is break in my inner dialogue.  I realize I have asked myself a valid question.  Why not??  I ponder this question as I chip away at my to-do list.  I find myself back at my computer.  My fingers find the keys and drafting begins.

I show up for the community.  I show up for the response and to respond.  I show up to remember to live a writerly life.  I show up so I can get better at supporting young writers and teachers in understanding the power of writing and connecting with others through writing.

Slice of Life has taught me the power of being someone’s reader first and foremost.  Our initial job as a teacher or partner is not to fix, suggest, or clarify.  It is to simply respond.  We help partners develop the language of response:

As your reader….

  • I noticed that you …
  • I thought you were able to…
  • I was really moved when…
  • You hooked me here…
  • I wanted to know more here…
  • You nailed it. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Once the writer has time to process the response, the teacher or partner can ask:

  • Now that we talked, what will you do next?

Ultimately, that decision is in the hands of the writer.  Revision needs to matter. Revision needs to be purposeful.  Revision needs to reflect the significance in the mind of the writer.  These types of initial responses have really helped me honor, notice, name and celebrate the writing of students.  It helps me listen to them, motivate them, and connect with them. 

Why do you show up every week?  How do you use this to connect with and motivate your students?  I would love to hear your perspective.


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers, and teachers here.

  • Avatar
    Lisa C
    Posted at 02:41h, 23 January Reply

    Same. I got out of bed to come write this because I realized all of my reasons for not having it done earlier were just excuses.

  • Avatar
    Erika Victor
    Posted at 12:15h, 23 January Reply

    This is a great reflection. I love the community here and that makes me write at least once a week (ack, and every day in March which will be harder this year as I am helping with our ES musical that is in full swing until near the end of the month). I LOVE reading the writing but do not feel like I give valuable feedback. New goal!

  • Avatar
    Michelle Hubbard
    Posted at 17:25h, 23 January Reply

    I show up or have the intention of showing up to write weekly, at least three times a week because it makes me feel better and allows me to improve my craft. You don’t get better at anything if you don’t practice it. I appreciate the Slice of Life community to encourage me and help me learn from others.

  • Avatar
    Posted at 13:54h, 29 January Reply

    I love the way Slice of Life has held it’s roots of simply being a person who writes. What I didn’t know, when we first began, was the gift just showing up would be to so many. So much of success is measured in the product…slice of life has always been about just showing up, it doesn’t matter what is produced. The power is in the process of stacking words and leaving them open to others. I’m glad you keep showing up.

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