I enjoy writing but I am more passionate about the content and telling of the story rather than the documentation of my thoughts on paper. I love to tell stories and share “slices” of my life with my friends, families, and coworkers. I love to talk and animate my stories through gestures, facial expressions, silly voices, and exasperated speech. So, I was a little resistant to the slice challenge but I did it. I jumped into the challenge with no game plan and a wing it sort of attitude. Knowing my writing ability and how I felt about it I decided to set the goal of posting sixteen slices this month, something I knew I could accomplish but would still take some conviction. I never realized how frustrating and time consuming writing would be, especially for me. I had many ideas every single day and so many things I could slice about, I couldn’t wait to get started, then it would happen…I would draw a blank and the words on the paper would just be there flat black text against a stark white background. My writing did not do my stories justice and my disappointment at not getting the story out caused me to press backspace, delete, and push the little red x in the corner. There would be no slice. I really reflected on this during the second half of the challenge; I am an educator who loves teaching, learning, and challenging activities so why do I feel like I failed at something that should come so naturally. It is a part of my daily routine after all. So I decided to modify the classroom slice challenge with my students (3, 4, 5 year olds) hoping for some inspiration. I found it!! We talked about what a “slice” of life is, it was a bit confusing at first, they were thinking slice of pizza, pie, an orange slice etc. and then It clicked, It’s something about your day that was so special you just have to tell everyone about it. We are still learning to write in pre-k so our slices look a bit different, they are pictures, scribbles, some letters, and other crafted marks but boy do those marks have so much to say. My students were just like me, storytellers. We both have so much to say but we just can’t get it on the paper “right” way. I tried an activity with my class, I drew a picture of me at the dentist and described in detail all of the things I was seeing and feelings. The children were hooked into my slice and I was enjoying every minute of it. After telling my story I asked them to help me write my story. The kids were so excited to help, a few found dentist books so I would know how to spell the word dentist and other dental words, they helped me brave spell some words and some just told me what letters I needed. It was so much fun being a “writer” with my young fans.
I hadn’t failed as a writer; I’m just a better Storyteller.
Maybe by next year’s challenge, my craft will evolve. Yes that’s right I will be back next year!!!
I have to share one of my student’s slices. She drew a picture of her at the doctor’s office laying very still so the doctor could take her “belly pictures” and use a needle to get her blood. This is a very important monthly routine she has to endure and she wanted to tell us all about it. If you look closely you can see all her words written vividly in blue around the picture describing every detail of her experience that day. I know as she gets older and grows as a writer this picture and scribbles will turn into a book with sentences.