Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers

Slice of Life Tuesday: Original Ideas


What is an original idea? Who has original ideas, really?

The definition of the adjective, original, is “belonging or pertaining to the origin; the beginning of something.” ( Synonyms include new, novel, fresh, and inventive.  I’m sad to say that I don’t have an original idea in my head. When I looked at the webpage again, there were a few more definitions, including: “arising or proceeding independently of anything else” and “capable of or given to thinking or acting in an independent, creative, or individual manner.” Still not feeling better, people! One more look: “created, undertaken, or presented for the first time.” There. Here on my blog, an original post — presented for the first time? Ah…nope. Not doing it for me.

Teachers are thieves. It’s a researched fact. We steal from each other all the time. Ideas, topics, “mentor texts…” yes, it’s all stealing. As I was thinking about writing something original today, I remembered that I heard that phrase often: “Teachers are thieves.” I feel badly, but why? “If everyone else is doing it…” (no, I don’t want to jump off a cliff, Mom.)  I really just want to be original, just once.

Many times, students have trouble writing because they feel like I do now. They don’t know what to say, or how to say it in a way that makes the topic original. What do we do? We tell them, “It’s ok.”  We show them mentor texts, we have them read more, and we have them keep on writing. The action of putting the pencil to the paper is what teachers are really looking for. We want to see evidence of thinking, and that students are willing to write what they think. They produce, then, their own, original ideas.

I read an interesting post on (TED talks!) about “What according to you is an original idea?” (…2011). Reading the comments section, the replies made me feel better about this “originality” problem. I don’t have to come up with the idea, but I have to DO something new and different with it.  I asked myself, “What do I want to DO?” Well, I want to write a SOL post right now, that’s what I want. And I want it to be original.

So here’s my first ever — original — post on originality. Or is it? Have I written this before?

Let me check.

(While I’m doing that, you have a great week!)



Author: Jennifer Sniadecki

I write about literacy education and my love for reading and writing. My passion is sharing titles I use for school libraries, classroom collaborations, and professional development. My goal is to collaborate, research, and share with other life-long literacy learners. Welcome to my blog!

11 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Original Ideas

  1. Having these moments of not knowing what to write about helps us better understand when our students go through the same thing. I’ll have to go check out the TED talk…sounds interesting. I’ll see you tonight at 8:30. 🙂 I’m excited about getting our started with our writing group.

  2. I think you have met your goal. This is an original post on originality. No one thinks in the exact same way you do, so technically speaking all your thoughts are original. That is if they really were your thoughts. 🙂

  3. What Elsie said – because she said what I wanted to say, but better…more original-ly!

  4. I love your first “original” post, Jennifer! It made me laugh out loud because I can so relate 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed reading this – because I have often had similar thoughts – a lot of what I do in my classroom or in my writing is inspired by mentors (teachers, friends, texts…) and I hope it is original enough to put my spin on it! 🙂

  6. fantastic publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite experts
    of this sector don’t realize this. You should proceed your writing.
    I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

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