Archive for March 1st, 2019

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life
Poetry Friday round-up is with Linda at Teacher Dance.

Today is the first day of March, so you know what that means: The annual March Slice of Life Challenge at the Two Writing Teachers!  I will be writing a blog post every day and linking it up to Two Writing Teachers.  What’s the point?

  • Writing every day is an important discipline for a writer and for a teacher of writing.
  • Connecting to other teacher-writers inspires and informs my teaching and writing, and I usually make new friends along the way.
  • There are prizes! 

I first met Jen Vincent through Kate Messner’s Teachers Write, a virtual summer camp for teachers who want to write.  If I remember correctly, we did a Google Hangout with other writers and read a section of our work.  I further connected with Jen through blogging and Twitter and met up with her at NCTE in 2014.  These connections are invaluable to me as a teacher and a writer.

One day I saw that Jen was teaching a workshop.  Silly me, I thought it was virtual, so I replied to her message on Facebook, “I want to come.”  Since Chicago and South Louisiana are pretty far apart, that was not feasible, but Jen thought of a way.  She created a virtual workshop.

We met one Saturday morning by Zoom meeting.  She led me through an exercise from Teachers Write by Tracey Baptiste.  We made a graphic organizer in our notebooks and labeled three places we had been recently. We then divided each column into two columns. On one side we wrote descriptions about the places and the other side we wrote emotions we felt about the places.

I chose school, dance lessons, and a restaurant where we go dancing.  I decided to connect the three places with the thread of dancing.

Dancing Days

I dance through my days…

Halls of smiling teachers
greet my wobbly walk
weighed down with backpack,
lunch bag and Yeti cup.
Miss Marie says, Show me that grandbaby!
After we view the latest pic on my phone,
I dance down the hall to my classroom.

At Dance Around the World studio,
bright purple walls of mirror on mirror
reflect my partner and me.
Miss Lou says, Right. Left. Back step.
We follow along,
find our balance–
weightless in a jitterbug twirl.

I dance my way to Friday night,
Nouveau String Band at Joie de Vivre,
wooden floors echo the sounds
of greetings, giggles, and two-steps.
Buck says, This waltz is for you.
The weight of the week disappears
to the beat of fiddle, mandolin, and drum.

(c) Margaret Simon

This workshop was a test run for Jen for her new Patreon page, Story Exploratory.  If you’d like to find more ways to write, I highly recommend Jen as an instructor. You can view this workshop and others by visiting Jen’s patreon page, Story Exploratory.


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