In a recent Principal’s Meeting, we discussed the art, work and progression of writing from PreK to 12th grade. Our district leaders and teachers have built a continuum of how our students grow as writers through the years. Jan Miller Burkins came to speak to the principals. I had the joy to attend a day workshop with her this summer with several of our JYJ teachers.

She encourages us all to be writers. Realizing the writer in ourselves allows us to teach writing with more confidence and perhaps grace. She speaks of writing as an opportunity to stay in the present on a focused moment rather than constantly looking ahead. She asked the room full of principals to consider how they see themselves as writers. You can imagine the hush.

She then encouraged us to jot down a list of moments in our day that inspire us to do what we do. She challenged us to write. I pushed myself further to consider how in my day my writing gives me the opportunity to see those inspiring moments. The first on my list was obvious as I considered the tweets that I usually share. In those short bursts of words, I share my inspirations. I love those moments of celebration of what I see happening each day at Joyner. These definitely are moments that delight me in my work.

I consider the multitude of emailing that I can do in a day. These communications vary in length and content. The audience varies just as greatly. But pausing to think through these written moments, I focus. I write.

Other writing moments come in notes to myself as reminders. I was given a special journal this past holiday that I like to capture ideas, impressions, challenges and responses that I might want to be reminded of later.

I appreciate this challenge as I consider how I can use writing as a model for our students. I have students who write me letters. These precious papers are a celebration of the work we do with our students.

In saying all of this, of course the obvious writing I make myself do is this blog. I have learned to appreciate writing this communication. I have given myself the expectation to write each week. I try to keep it quick. I want to model that this can be done in a brief moment, sharing and reflecting on my work. But having the weekly Wednesday 10-15 minutes of taking a pause is a great practice that keeps me staying present throughout the rest of my week. I don’t ever see my identity as a writer. But I do appreciate the moments of staying present.

And this week, I encourage you to talk with your own children about the moments they enjoy about school. Think about the moments you enjoy with your children as a family. And take a moment to write these down. Having these treasures captured on a piece of paper could be something useful later. We ALL can be models of writers to our budding writers.

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