Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Writing with My Students #SOL21

It has been quite a month, and my writing life has taken a backseat to the rest of my life.  However, one of my favorite practices in class is back - writing with my students.  

A teacher from my department shared Phung Nguyen Quang & Huynh Kim Lien's picture book My First Day.  It is a beautiful story about a young Vietnamese boy's journey on the first day of school in the Mekong Delta.  We decided to have our sixth-grade students write about their journey to their first day of middle school using a paragraph frame to follow the structure of the opening of the book.  

As always, I wrote with my students and was happy to memorialize my journey to the first day of the 2021-2022 school year, which was unlike any other.  

Where the Floral Street School sits around the corner ready for students so much younger than my own children...that is where I live.  

I wake up with the sun still below the horizon and join other teacher-writers from all over the world on Zoom.  I dump all of my thoughts and feelings onto my morning pages.  Today is the first day.

This is the first time I've started school with an empty house because both of my children are off at college, and my husband is still driving home from Wisconsin.

My mind said I can do hard things.

My friend texted, Hope you have a great first day.

I drive Ashley's car down Route 9 with tears in my eyes, missing her.

walk into the empty school to prepare for my adventure.

Not long after, I join The new and familiar faces swarming around on the track in front of me.  And one student walks over to say, "I've missed you."  He has no idea how much I needed to hear such sweet words.  


  1. First days are always a bag of mixed emotions, and it sounds like this one was harder than most. I'm glad, though, that you were there for your students and they were there for you. You can do hard things, and you're not alone as you do them!

  2. I love this prompt. I find that sentence frames work so well with my students. It's like a jumpstart.


Worried #SOL

I read Kwame Alexander's The Crossover this summer for my school's summer reading program.  I loved his definition poems, which is w...