Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


Slice of Life Tuesdays: Possibilities

Slice of Life Small LogoPossibilities

My principal retired this spring, and at the last staff meeting, she bequeathed the items in her office to the teachers and staff. It was one of those white elephant-type gifting — pass something down to the next generation. Most of the items had to do with tigers (we are the Tigers) and mementos from past years.  My present was a nice wall hanging with an inspirational quote: “Possibilities. The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” She said she passed it to me because I’m always looking for new possibilities.

At first, I thought, “Yeah! Of course I’m always looking for new possibilities! Why wouldn’t I want to stretch myself and do what I haven’t yet done?” Under her leadership, I have become a literacy coach, gone back to the classroom, applied for other positions in different districts while talking about leaving the state, and asked for many impossible effects. I will continue to ask the new principal for updated technology in the classroom, money to attend conferences and workshops, and different ways to teach concepts with modern books.

What I find most exciting, however, is sharing my writing with my students. The best revision lesson I encountered all year taking out an essay I wrote in college and reading it to my students. Even years later, the class and I found words and phrases that needed revision. It was one of those “teachable moments” when the students gave suggestions and we rewrote my essay together. It was better at the end, too! Now that I’m on a path of regular writing, I will not give up. Even though writing a book may still seem impossible, I am writing; someday, publishing may truly be a possibility.

I’ll learn more this week at the All Write institute. I cannot wait to attend. Just imagine the possibilities!



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Everyone Knows Better

“The grass is always greener on the other side.”

No, it’s not.

“Live Your Dreams!”

I wish.

“You should…(insert statement of advice here).”

I’m not you.


You listen.

“Have a nice day!”

Thank you! You as well.


Another post about giving and taking advice that I found today was my daughter’s blog post, “Review of Katelyn Cameron’s Article.” It was interesting that we were both at our computers, essentially writing about the same thing. Hers is more detailed and specific, but pretty good, I think! Check it out.


Slice of Life Tuesdays: Dreaming

                                                                            Live Your Dream!

That was the theme of the first instructional window at school this year. Teachers tell students that nothing is impossible; dreams can become reality. All you have to do is learn to read and write (and know the way the earth works, and maybe some calculus), work hard, and make an effort, no matter what. And that’s why I won’t give up. I want to live my dreams, too.

Why should children and Martin Luther King, Jr. be the only ones who have dreams? All people need dreams. Gloria Steinem said, “Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities…dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” Teachers plan all the time. Why can’t teachers have dreams?

My dream is to write a book. Maybe a series (let’s not get ahead of ourselves now). Ok, one book — for now. Planning to achieve this dream gives me hope and excitement to live my life each day. Oh, the possibilities! Gloria Steinem was right.  I am currently planning the parts of the book. Each time I realize an idea floating around in my brain, I take out my Evernote app, log in to the notebook, “book,” and record my thought bubbles. Each note is one bubble that I don’t want to pop; I want the ideas to swirl around until I choose to organize them, to ground them into a page.

I love talking to my students about dreams. They have been reading and researching people who live their dreams: Ryan and Jimmy and the well in Africa…, Derek Jeter, and Samantha Larson, who climbed mountains — they all lived their dreams. Then I showed my class this quote by George Bernard Shaw: “You see things, and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were, and I say, ‘Why not?'” It was a joy to hear one student say to another recently, “Why not?” when asked about an idea.

Can you write about (insert topic)? Sure, why not?

Can you read that book in the library you have been eying? Sure, why not?

“Hey, Mrs. S, do you think you’ll really write a book?”

Why not? I’ll even dedicate it to you, my class of dreamers.