Looking back at my 2022 blog posts, I gleaned two things I wish you knew plus three tips to help you live, learn, and teach better in 2023.
In my former career as a community journalist the year in review was a staple of the issue published that final week in December and I had big plans to make that happen but instead I chose to prioritize rest and family and then the new year kicked off with a bang and so many adulting challenges I could not even get this done for the first week in January or even January itself (because the semester started). Oh well, that is how life works for me now.
In some ways 2022 was the year I got my groove back. Taking a big picture look I feel pretty good about the teaching and leading that took place spring, summer, and fall. Also feel pretty good about the writing in general and poetry in specific that I engaged in throughout the year from Small Poems, Great Writers to LexPoMo to Write Across America to my Winter Solstice writing challenge. I loved writing with my students, my fellow teachers, and especially the JustWrite Virtual Writing Group and I look forward to another year centering writing and poetry.
I managed to publish 18 blog posts in 2022 which I think is pretty respectable including at least one post every month although some months in the heat of the semester it was a bit of a struggle. More important than numbers I wrote some important blog posts that really underscore who I am as a teacher, writer, and human.
I Wish You Knew…
The “I wish you knew…” writing invitation is one I love to use with my students and sometimes it is a very helpful release valve for me, so it felt like just the right title for this discussion of the most important blog posts I wrote in 2022.
Honestly I couldn’t decide which of these two posts was the most important to me so they are presented in publication order. In January I was triggered to write a defense of virtual instruction and it continues to be important as attacks on virtual instruction continue. This issue continues to frustrate me because after teaching and learning in this space for two decades this debate continues to rage.
There is good teaching, good pedagogy, that can occur in online, hybrid, or traditional classrooms. Sometimes there is bad education in those settings. Some teachers are better in one setting because they have had no training (and/or time to prepare) for the other. Some teachers are awesome and flexible about their teaching strategies when they have not been stretched and stressed by three years of teaching and living in a pandemic. Most education systems never worked for all of the students, all of the staff, and all of the families, all of the time. These are facts.Traditional <=> Virtual Instruction and Community
In March I argued that we need to stop using the metaphor “writing process” and instead use the writing journey as a more accurate and flexible metaphor to describe the work of creating a piece of writing. In It’s A Journey Not A Process, I reflect on the expansive metaphor; the variety of roles it offers to the writer, instructor, and community; and the alchemical change on the writer as well as the writing. Many months later I still think my metaphor is right, do you?
3 Tips For You
- Create a community of writers: I teach writers and lead a National Writing Project site so it is no surprise that my year included multiple posts about inviting writers to write with low-stakes writing practice and bell ringers. My posts include specific tips about kicking off your writing community and five tips for teaching humans. And dive deep into my methods for creating a writing studio!
- Harness the power of authentic writing: I shared the re-vision of my professional writing class and explored the importance of passion in the writing classroom. So much of my teaching in the fall was influenced by Emily Dickinson’s poem Tell all the truth but tell it slant that I just needed to post about writing slant. After all, what is more authentic than telling your truth? My goal is to develop writers and that is why I care about authentic writing.
- Leverage those themes: I wrote posts about both iterations of my What If units kicking off the year describing the work that took place in Fall 2021 and then how it was re-visioned into Building A More Perfect Union in Fall 2022. I also wrote posts about my use of This I Believe essays for both American Creed and gaming themes. And more about the power of triangles!
My One Little Word for 2022 was Spark and I continue to think it was one of my best choices. All in all, my year was better because I was able to spark joy in other writers and nurturing the sparks of my own inspiration. What lessons did you learn in 2022 that will help you live, learn, and teach better in 2023?
My 18 blog posts for 2022 (most recent first):
- Passion-Based Writing
- Building A More Perfect Union: One Story At A Time
- Bell Ringers and Community Building
- Low-Stakes Writing Practice: Snaps and Artifacts
- Writing Slant
- This I Believe: Using American Creed as a mentor text starts us off write
- Inviting Writers
- Passion Matters
- Teaching Humans
- Why I Care About Authentic Writing
- Triangle Power
- This I Believe: Using games to teach writing rocks
- It’s A Journey Not A Process
- Logbooks and #Ungrading: Creating a writing studio
- Traditional <=> Virtual Instruction and Community
- What If We Told the Story of Our Values
- Spark: My #OLW for 2022
Although this year in review post is a month overdue, I find myself quite satisfied with the result. What questions do you have for me to explore in 2023?