Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good News Can Sabotage You Too

This is only my 3rd post this month. I'd been doing so well. I was so proud of myself. My head was teeming with awesome ideas for blogposts. I was in the groove. A post with a picture and a quote at the beginning of the week, a post with...something else during the week.

And my writing? Holy cow! I was on fire. I was writing almost every single night. I had over 100 pages revised in Cinder Thief.

And then, I realized I didn't like my story anymore. It wasn't the story I set out to write, and yet I'd written an entire first draft and 100 pages of a second draft. So I started over.

And then I got the really awesome news about being accepted into Vermont College. And, for some reason, that stopped my progress in its tracks. I don't know why. Maybe because it felt just too good to be true, I spent more time thinking about that instead of my writing. Or maybe I'm afraid of success.

Does that sound odd? To be afraid of success? To see that what you want is right around the corner and so you decide to make a detour instead, avoiding what you've always wanted?

I've done this before. I've let myself give up on something because I was afraid. So, maybe there's a pattern for it in my life.

However, there have been so many other things I've been afraid of and I wanted to quit, but for some reason I didn't. There was a time when I was working towards my teaching certification that I almost threw in the towel and said, "Forget it." But something kept me from doing that.

Now, I need to find that something again and start writing again. Because if I stop writing, it won't matter that I got into that program (since, you know, it's a writing program).

The world I'm contemplating for myself is scary, but it's also exciting. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

To the Teacher in Miami...

Dear Miami 2nd-grade teacher,

I read about what happened, and I'm appalled. Appalled! I'm appalled that this is what the media is focusing on instead of what the real issue is: that a child was talking in class and that a parent, instead of getting upset at her child for his bad behavior, she is lashing out at you in a very public way.

I'm a teacher, but I'm also a parent, and I can tell you, that if I found out that my child had been talking out in class, my child would be the one who got into trouble. In fact, my child did get in trouble for talking while the teacher was talking, and I didn't contact the evening news to tell them about it. Instead, he was grounded from his video games. And we haven't had any problems since then.

I wish, now, that the reporters who've spent time talking to this mom, encouraging her to tell her story, would now give you a chance to tell your story. The story of how you have 25 2nd graders in your class, some of them with learning disabilities, some of them who don't speak English as their first language, some who come to school hungry, and some who just had a bad night at home the day before.

I wish the media would interview the parents of students whose lives you've touched. The kids who struggled with reading. The kids who just needed a little bit of extra attention from you. The kids who love and adore you and who love learning because of the time (paid and unpaid) that you spend preparing lessons.

My hope is that you can continue on being the best teacher you can be, and that you are receiving the positive attention you most undoubtedly deserve even if it's not in the public eye.


A fellow teacher

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So, I'm going here....

I received an unexpected call last Tuesday from the program director for the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
The faculty liked my writing. They accepted my application into the program.
I'm going to Vermont in July.
Some feelings:
Extremely grateful.
But afraid.
There are so many things I want to say, but I'm going to leave them for another day. (Hey, that rhymed. Maybe that's why they accepted me into the program...)