Friday, March 1, 2013

Slice of Life March Challenge #1

To slice, or not to slice, that was today’s question.

As I sat with a teacher-friend at work this morning, she excitedly shared that today was the first day of a marathon of slicing that she was participating in.  Thirty-one days of daily writing!  Wait, had I heard her correctly? Thirty-one days of writing—no breaks, no days in between—every single day in March?

And with her ever-cheerful demeanor, she prompted, “You should participate! You should create a blog!”   Then I thought, I could do that. It couldn't be so hard, right? 

So, we sat together and created my blog—my very own blog, my very own space to write and to share a part of myself.  I felt a thrill of excitement as I started to create my page, but then I had to think of a title for my blog.  A title? I needed to think of a title? Oh no, my very first challenge! And choosing a background? There were just too many options.  And what would be the perfect font!? How could I ever decide? Such big decisions to be made!

Finally, my page looked complete.  The hard part was over—the designing was done.  The rest would be a breeze.   Of course I would be able to do the writing part—I am a writing teacher, after all. 

As the periods raced by, I began to rethink what I had done. Would I be able to do this? What would I write about? What would I say? What would my first slice be about?

And then as I conferenced with a student during writing, I realized something.  I teach writing, yet I don't make enough time to write myself anymore.  How can this teaching thing be authentic if I’m not going through the motions myself?

As I’ve scrambled to gather my thoughts, my ideas, my musings, I get it.  I really get it. I understand how challenging it can be for an 11-year old to get their ideas across, to be vulnerable, to be a writer.

I’m excited for this challenge, excited to practice what I teach.  I’m excited for 30 more days of slicing, excited for 30 more opportunities to put myself in my students’ shoes. I owe it to myself, but more importantly, I owe it to my students.


  1. HI Rachel,
    Did you get posted yet on TWT?
    Let me know if you are still having trouble,
    Any friend of Tara's is a friend of mine,
    Have a blast with us,

  2. Hi Bonnie,

    Yes! I finally figured it out! Thanks for your help! Can't wait to slice tomorrow!

  3. Hi Rachel,
    I adjusted your link that you shared on TWT in order to guide people directly to this post. It's important to share your unique URL. For this post it is: rather than If you have questions about this, please email Bonnie.
    I'm glad you are joining us this year!

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  5. So happy to see your blog that I made a gazillion typos in my previous comment. Anyway, your blog looks wonderful, and your slice speaks to the teacher/ writer so beautifully. Welcome to slicing! Here's to the next 30 days.....

  6. I love your excitement and desire to practice what you preach. Isn't it fun to have friends who inspire us? In my case, I started SOL last March because my sixth graders encouraged me. Welcome, Rachel, your blog looks great! I always love hearing from other middle school teachers.

  7. I'm glad to find another newbie on my first click. Have been without words for a glad to have a reason to find them. Good luck to you as well.

  8. Hi Rachel,
    Welcome to the SOL Challenge! I, too, was excited and nervous when I first took the challenge last year. There were ups and downs. Sometimes I was brimming with ideas to write about, and the writing flew out of my fingers onto the screen, but there were other days I wanted to quit because I was stumped and felt like I had nothing to say. Keep pushing yourself, and realize that some of our best writing comes when we're stuck. Good luck on the challenge! I look forward to reading more of your slices. :)

  9. I am glad you decided to join this year's challenge. It was fun reading your slice. You have a very strong voice.