Slice of Life March Challenge: March 31st., 2014 – Reflecting on the SOLSC

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           The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by  Two Writing Teachers  

“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.” 
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So,  another March Challenge comes to an end.  I begin each March full of resolve to write with enthusiasm and insight every day, but, as you fellow slicers know, this is a resolve that is quickly and sorely tested…starting about day 10.  It is hard to teach all day, return home with book bags filled to the brim with notebooks and tests to read, respond to, and grade, and lessons to plan, gather resources for, and then execute…and find time to write posts and then read, appreciate and comment on other posts.  Not to mention somehow fitting in all the other “stuff” of our lives (family, friends, you know – that sort of stuff!).

But, we find the time.

I am always so touched by the openness and generosity of this writing community.  It has grown so much since I first began slicing with TWT, and, at times, it’s daunting to look at the number of talented writers who have logged on every day to share a slice of their life.  And yet, we find the time to read what has been shared, leave meaningful comments, and return to “check in”.   We discover new writers even as we link up faithfully with those we have been slicing with for many years.  And we remember that even as it is so very satisfying to post and read what others have stopped by to say, our writing community only works because we take the time extend the favor – to leave comments, and to engage with what others have created, everyday.

We learn a lot about each other in the course of a month of slicing…and it shows:

*We have celebrated “big events”: birthdays, vacations, retirement announcements, anniversaries, the sale of a house, the purchase of a new home, and new jobs.

*We have shared difficult moments in our lives : helping our parents adjust to new lives, losing people we love, and the challenges of raising children – our own, and those entrusted into our care, in classrooms all over the world.

*And we’ve shared the ups and downs of our common vocation – what it’s like to teach today, the issues we face, our frustrations and our joys.

*We’ve learned about new books to read, new learning experiences to try out in our classrooms, new ideas to push our thinking about the why and how of our teaching lives.

*When we’ve stumbled in the challenge, we’ve supported each other.  When we tried something new, we’ve celebrated each other.   We’ve served as each others’ inspirations, cheering squads, support groups, motivators.

It’s been a wonderful month.

Thank you for joining us, for believing in the value of writing every day – both for us as individuals, as well as for what that experience lends our teaching practices.  We are better teachers because we write, we engage in the struggle to put words on the page and craft something others will want to read.  That struggle informs our teaching, and our thinking about teaching.

Thank you, friends… here’s to the SOLSC that was, and here’s to us!



18 thoughts on “Slice of Life March Challenge: March 31st., 2014 – Reflecting on the SOLSC

  1. You captured it all so perfectly.Thank you.

    …And I’m so thankful for your kind and encouraging comments. You are a blessing to me, Tara.

  2. “The ups and downs of our common vocation” the common thread we share and can find comfort in how it’s so huge in all of our lives! This is a perfect summary. Thank you! And thanks for your contributions all month both on the site and in your thoughtful commentary. You are a thoughtful reader and it shows in your slices and how you respond to others.

  3. Thank you Tara. You have been a blessing to me and a wonderful encourager. I have appreciated all of the thoughtful comments you have left on my posts and I have enjoyed reading about your little piece of the world, so far away from my piece. I’ll see you next Tuesday. Chat soon Tracey

  4. You have a talent for summing up. I read and nodded, yes, yes, and yes to every word. Thanks for fixing that link yesterday, I wonder what happened to get that extra letter in there. Of course it happened on a problems post. 🙂

  5. It’s a lovely summary, Tara. I know that you & all the other TWT group have worked so hard this month. Hope you have a sigh of relief on Wednesday that you can take a break! Thanks for all, my friend & the teacher we should listen carefully to!

  6. Tara, thank you for your daily comments and encouragement. This being my first challenge there were days I wasn’t sure I would make it to the end. You and this entire community kept me going. Bob

  7. You hit the nail on the head Tara. Yes, yes, yes. As so many have said, thank you for your support. You have seemed to be the personal cheerleader for so many in this challenge. Any blog I’d pop in on there you were with a great comment. It has been a memorable March, one like no other I’ve known. Thanks to mentors like you to learn from and lean on we have all grown so much. Here’s to community.

  8. Yes it is a community. I often refer to my “writing group” when talking to others. Even though the group has grown I do feel that kind of connection, as if we meet and sit in a circle in a living room somewhere. I am always happy when you show up and there is always a cup of perfectly brewed coffee waiting for you.

  9. Thank you for your perfect summary of this whole experience and thanks for your support and encouragement that you have given me and many others. I wish more would experience this community. They have no idea what they are missing.

  10. Tara – The writing community that is created over the month is truly wonderful. Your post is beautifully written. Today, I shared about my experience with the challenge with my Heinemann Rep as we talked about writing with children. I am looking forward to what will continue as a result of what was started this month.

  11. I don’t know what to say that already hasn’t been said. Tara, you are amazing and this was a beautiful synthesis of our writing community. My favorite line: “our writing community only works because we take the time extend the favor – to leave comments, and to engage with what others have created, everyday.” Yes, we can write for ourselves, but the connections made and the words left behind add more depth and meaning. Thanks for all your comments this month too! I don’t know how you did it all! See you tomorrow!

  12. We are indeed better teachers “because we write, we engage in the struggle to put words on the page.” Well said, Tara! Thank you so much for all your kind words throughout the month, and always!

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