Every morning on my commute to school, I pause. It’s at the exact moment when the subway car leaves the station at Charles MGH and creeps across the Charles River into Cambridge. The sky opens up like a gasp, and I can’t help but stop reading whatever book E and I are caught up in and look at the view. He will often perch on my lap and look, too, commenting on all he sees: boats covered and awaiting their release once warmer weather remains, construction, joggers, cars…
During what is most likely a three-minute ride across the Charles, I say a quick thank you prayer for the day and remind myself that there is, indeed, joy and delight to be found every single day if I just choose to look. That brief reset, of greeting the day (and also saying goodbye to it on the ride home) seems a fitting way to reflect on this final entry of the Slice of Life challenge.
What I Learned The Second-Time Around:
- Slicing is more fun with friends: last year, I sliced alone. It was wonderful to meet new people, but this year, I convinced four (and at one point, there were FIVE!) of my colleagues to participate and it was amazing! I got to know them in ways that we simply don’t know in our every day work lives. We also had so much to talk about during school. We were writing together as a community. That was some powerful stuff.
- The second time around is easier: I had less of a struggle getting into a daily writing groove this time, much because I knew I was going to be held accountable by my colleagues but also because I found myself paying more attention as I went about my life. That resulted in plenty to write about.
- Feedback is tricky: I was able to think more deeply about feedback and the type that I give and receive: sometimes, I wanted to throw up an emoji and call it a day, but I knew that people worked really hard on what they wrote. While on some days my feedback was not as robust as others, I tried hard to leave more than surface remarks.
- If you write, you’re a writer. We walked the talk this month. All of us. We were and are teachers who write and were models of that work for each other and for our students. I found that powerful.
We are going to plan a tea party to celebrate the end of the challenge. I think we’ll all keep writing together, and one of my fabulous colleagues is pulling together a PD to run next year that’s a teachers’ writing group. I am so fortunate to teach and learn with them and to have the Slice of Life Challenge as the opportunity to do great work with great colleagues.