My Mount Rushmore of teachers includes lots of different wonderful educators that have shaped me as a professional. Two of these teachers are “The Book Whisperer” Donalyn Miller and “The Swiss Army Knife of Children’s Literature” Kate Messner. I had the privilege of sitting with them over coffee and tea, Friday evening at NCTE. As I sat in awe, and as I listened to my heroes, I kept thinking to myself, please don’t ask me to join this conversation. I kind of felt like that kid sitting in class praying that his teacher won’t call on him.
Well, I did get called on. Kate turned towards me, looked me in the eyes, and said in the universe’s sweetest voice, “Colby, what are you writing?”(I still can’t believe Kate and Donlayn know my name). I froze. My writing includes sporadic blog posts and writing with/alongside my fourth graders. I know that Kate wasn’t trying to call me out, but I felt guilty. I need to write more. My writing needs to be more authentic and a lot more consistent.
I feel that a great deal of my successes as a teacher of reading, are because of my reading life. I read a ton, and I read a variety of things. These great habits that I live by as a reader need to be transferred to my life as a writer. Kate’s simple question is reshaping my life. I am committing to writing more. Nowhere in me, is there a desire to publish a book, but I do feel that writing more will help me to become a better teacher.
Kate Messner’s 5 word question has pretty much occupied my every thought for the last few days. After losing a lot of sleep, I have decided to do something about it. Starting after Thanksgiving I will be posting a minimum of three blog posts a week. I will
try to run a routine schedule on my blog to help myself stay consistent and focused.
My New Blog Schedule
Sunday: Inspirations/What we’re doing
Two Sunday’s a month I will post on a person that inspires me. This will be a mushy post, but hopefully it will help me reflect upon and honor the people that help me be the man and teacher that I am today. This post will also allow me to go back dig deeper into the work of that person. Since I will be posting on this topic every two weeks, I will be able to spend the first week researching and digging deeper, the second week I will write the post. Very excited about trying this.
The other two Sunday’s of the month I will post something about what we a doing in room 23. I have no idea how this post is going to go, but I promise, it’ll be fun (at least to me).
Monday: Reading Life
This will be a simple post highlighting my reading life. It will probably include what I read in the previous week and what I plan on reading the following week. The more I think about it, the more I think this post should at times also include my writing life.
Wednesday: Book Talk
I think that it is important that I continue to write about books that I love. Every Wednesday, I will be posting a book talk. I am really looking forward to being more consistent in discussing what I’m reading.
I would like to be a great writing teacher, and I don’t know how to do that if I’m not a writer myself. It’s time to “man up” and get to writing. Wish me luck.