A Slice of Life is a weekly blog hosted by Two Writing Teachers, Ruth Ayers and Stacey Shubitz. Click on Two Writing Teachers to be taken to their website to learn more about this week's Slice of Life.
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My life on Twitter is just under a year old so it feels sometimes like I spend a lot of time talking about how the social media has positively impacted my professional life and my reading life. Twitter interactions motivated me to blog; introduced me to Goodreads; allows me to interact with people that I wouldn't otherwise know; and inspires me every day in some way.
I pick up on little things, little ideas, from Twitter that I think are manageable for me. I constantly look for ways to get it out there what I am most passionate about - books & kids. One such idea that I grabbed from a Twitter feed was the idea of including my Twitter handle, the link to my blog, and a sentence starter for what I am reading, in the signature part of my work email. There's a certain amount of insecurity that goes with making that visible in EVERY email. What if the people I work closest with view all of what I am doing as "silly"? I have a bad habit of measuring my worth by comparing myself to others - it's something that I battle constantly. One would think that as a 43 year old that I'd be over that, but it's in my core and I suppose is one of those things that drives me to constantly achieve. Honestly, the notion of "I'm not as good as..." is not as prevalent as it has been in the past, but there's always a hint of it in what I do.
My motivation for including my Twitter handle, the link to my blog, and a sentence starter for what I am reading stems from the fact that I want to positively influence others that I am closest to. I have learned and grown through these medias and I just want to spread the wealth a bit. If what I am learning and doing inspires even just one teacher, I feel satisfaction from that. The email signature is subtle - I never know if people even look at that part of their email. So, I just wait...
Validation that the email signature has impact came this week. :o)
One of the beginning teachers that I mentor needed some time to finish up some district required fluency assessments. She really wanted to finish the assessments herself so she asked if I could cover her class for her. She was in the process of teaching to "good fit books" and thought that I could come in and share how I pick books. Her email stated, "since you're so passionate about books...". I do look for those moments where I can talk about books, almost like a teachable moment. This particular teacher is not someone I mentored last year so I've only supported her for three weeks. She is not someone who I've known long enough to know how much I really talk about books. How did she know? She sees the email signature regularly. She checked my blog.
Little does the beginning teacher know what a gift it was for me to spend just 15 minutes sharing with her students about books. I went in armed with a bag of books-books I read, books I've listened to, books I plan to read. I shared why I am reading books and where I get ideas from. Nothing is better than the murmur of children as they connect with a title, an author, a genre. Before long, students were asking me if I had read book number four in the Amulet series. I was being asked if they could borrow my copy of Sidekicks. We began to have this very natural exchange of have you read-you should read.
I spend quite a bit of time observing teachers and providing feedback. One of the things that I've missed while on special assignment is the daily interacting with my own students - especially when it comes to books. So, while I was supporting a beginning teacher's need to finish some quick assessments, she was filling a need of mine to interact with kids about books. It was a GREAT Tuesday!
That settles it. The Twitter handle, blog link, and sentence starter for what I am reading remain in my email signature. For good.