Momentum and motivation are closely related words when it comes to a writer’s life. During the school year I am focused on lesson planning, giving feedback to my student writers, and writing narratives on student progress. My schedule keeps my momentum strong, and deadlines keep me motivated.
Then it is summer!
During the summer, I connect with other writers, networking over social media and having conversations about projects. The writing days of summer are filled with hours of revisiting drafts and artfully playing with words. I enjoy the process of writing, sharing writing and the magic of thoughts spilling onto the page.
It is during summer when I can play with words and create stories, poetry, an article, or a journal entry. I am a writer who is a teacher and a teacher who is a writer. I want to share my love of writing with my students. I want them to know I am still a student of writing, refining my form, bringing sentences to life with figurative language, and immersing myself in my writer's notebook.
It is important to not only teach the mechanics and genres of writing, but to share my writing life with my students. This helps to build a safe writing community where they will feel secure in sharing their writing, providing feedback to each other, as well as maintaining writing momentum.
So how will I bring my writing life into my classroom this fall? This summer I practiced writing observational poetry, focusing on an object or place and writing what you see, hear, what it reminds you of, and how it makes you feel. I am going to combine this genre of writing with our mindful moments, time when my students relax and simply think.
What can you do to maintain your writing momentum? Set reasonable goals for how long or often you’ll write, and write down ideas when they come to you- inspiration can be fleeting. Most of all, allow your writing life to be something that brings you a sense of accomplishment and take pride in the beauty of your words.
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Kathleen Palmieri is a National Board Certified Teacher, a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Learning Facilitator, and a fifth grade educator in upstate New York. She reviews professional texts and writes education articles for Middleweb. As a writer with a passion for pedagogy, Kathleen's focus is on education practices and strategies, as well as her own experiences as an educator. She has presented at math conferences, writing workshops, actively collaborates in literacy projects, and networks globally.