A Writer? Possibly….A Storyteller? Definitely

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.

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5 responses to “A Writer? Possibly….A Storyteller? Definitely

  • Robin

    I love that you talked about being a storyteller, just like your students. I think you hit the nail on the head. Preschoolers are natural storytellers and they are just learning to get those awesome thoughts down onto paper. I think you did a great job and I’m happy to see that you plan to try again next year. I enjoyed reading your blog posts. Maybe you could keep your feet wet by joining in on the Tuesday slicing throughout the year. I enjoy that it keeps me into some sort of writing habit..just a little nudge to keep me going.

    Like

  • ccahill2013

    Nicole, I am speechless. Well, not really. I have goose bumps from head to toe reading your slice tonight. I am so, so, so proud of you. You did it!!! You ARE a storyteller and you ARE a writer! I so appreciate how you’ve taken what you’ve learned about yourself and brought it to your students. Beautiful!!!! Come back on Tuesdays and come back next March. I do believe you are hooked!!! Thank you for all you’ve done putting yourself out there this month. xoxo

    Like

  • peteacher1

    Wow Nicole…what an awesome reflection. Not only did you think about your writing but how you could bring the kids into it, teaching them so much and them helping you too! What a process you described for both you and the kids. For you, having so much to say but unable to find the right way to get it across to your readers and for the kids – to not be able to write but use their pictures to tell their stories. Amazing! There is a reason you have that special Position – you get it and they get you. Despite how you feel, you have done a wonderful job with your slices. I enjoyed your writing. Can’t wait until you come back next year! 🙂

    Like

  • sweathers21

    Outstanding! I love your connection to your students. You’re an amazing writer, storyteller and teacher!

    Like

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