For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an author and teacher. I’ve taught for 16 1/2 years now, in every grade from first through tenth (except 9th).
I’ve been a writer my whole life, but it wasn’t until January 2013 that I transitioned to published author. I signed a contract with a small press in May 2012 and had big dreams for my trilogy.
Upon my arrival into the pub’d world, I found my destination wasn’t what I exactly envisioned for my life. So once 18 Thoughts released in 2015, fulfilling my contract, I hung up my author’s hat. I was a little disappointed until I switched from teaching middle to high school English the following year. Being a published author definitely helped me on my journey to making that switch, and it gave me street cred with my skeptical students who saw “Elementary Education” listed on my degree hanging in my classroom.
Now my writing and life goals have merged. I’m not looking to write the next book, but looking for the book that will inspire my students to write in their Writer’s Notebook. Each day is an opportunity to give students something to spark their imaginations. One of my favorite writing activities is using poems for a mentor text. I always write along with my students, demonstrating my ‘vomiting words on a page’ under the doc camera so they understand that I’m handing them their license to play with beautiful words (no red pens here).
With that spirit in mind and to celebrate the 4th of July, I’d like to leave you with some beautiful words: a poem titled Good Night by Carl Sandburg. Maybe it’ll spark some creativity for you today 🙂
Many ways to say good night.
Fireworks at a pier on the Fourth of July
spell it with red wheels and yellow spokes.
They fizz in the air, touch the water and quit.
Rockets make a trajectory of gold-and-blue
and then go out.
Railroad trains at night spell with a smokestack mushrooming a white pillar.
Steamboats turn a curve in the Mississippi crying a baritone that crosses lowland cottonfields to razorback hill.
It is easy to spell good night.
Many ways to spell good night.
This has been another post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the brainchild of Head Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Feel free to join us the first Wednesday of every month! Purpose: To share and encourage.
And I’m killing two birds with one stone here today. I’ve decided to join Two Writing Teachers for their Slice of Life Challenge. Every Tuesday we share a story, a slice of life, on our blogs. Check it out!
I find it amazing how paths switch and change in ways we don’t expect. I enjoyed your series, btw 🙂
Thank you 🙂 I did get a pretty awesome email from someone who just read it, & then I felt guilty for not continuing with publishing.
My own goals have changed over the years too. And my work and writing merged too, though in another way as I now am a contract writer.
I think lots of people forget about contract writing when looking at writing careers . . . I”ll have to remind my daughter of that. She’s heading to UF in the fall & thinking of majoring in English, but she’s also scared to.
I’m writing again, but like you, after the last book I was all right with that. I’m more focused on the IWSG now.
I bet you are a really cool to teacher. I probably would’ve enjoyed English more.
I try. Engagement is key; students aren’t allowed to hide or be bored!
Leading by example is a great way to go, Jamie. I think your students are lucky to have you. Go you!
Thank you, Gwen ❤