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8/6/14

Making the Time: Jennifer Reck

Welcome to my dear friend Jenny from

This is me. This is one of my notebooks. Pretty ones make me
want to write more!
Thank you so much for having me over Kimberley. I love the new color of your walls, but do miss your bears a little bit! You asked me to talk a little about how I make time to work on my teaching/writing craft and how you can too! I usually write over HERE!

First of all, I want to share a little secret with you. I don’t really like to write. I think it started in second grade when my teacher told my class that we were too dumb for her to teach us how to write. Of course I took it very personally and my inner voice said, “Jenny, you are too dumb.” I have spent a lot of years telling myself that I am a bit too dumb to do much.  Every failure was a self-fulfilling prophesy instead of an opportunity to learn.

I made it to high school where a teacher said, “You aren’t like the other ones, are you?” She was referring to my four older siblings. They were all excellent students. She was handing me back a paper which I hadn’t done very well on. I struggled through and graduated and had a very good time. I found I was quite good at the social side of school. As long as I was getting Cs , no one seemed to care.
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do in life, but I loved my older sister and wanted to be just like her. I decided I’d go to the same college she went to. I liked college, especially the social part. I even became a pretty decent student. I loved working with kids and realized pretty quickly that I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a good teacher. I wanted to make sure that no student I ever had in my care left me feeling “dumb”. Which brings me to a very important bit of advice for all teachers.

Why do you work on your teaching craft? Because you must. You are either growing or dying. If you are dying, you are taking your students with you. They are feeling dumb. Now I know I’m preaching to the choir because you are reading this, you already want to work on your craft. I am 52 years young and I am still learning and reaching for better ways to help make my students time with me authentic.

When I stop wanting to learn more about being a better teacher, I’ll know it is time to stop.

I squeeze time for writing in at different times of the day. I keep a notebook in my car so that if I’m picking up a child and have to wait, which I often do, I can pick up my notebook and write. I keep a notebook by my bed because sometimes I get my best ideas as I’m falling asleep or waking up. Sometimes I write stories for my students. Sometimes I write blog posts that will never be seen. Sometimes I write letters to family or friends. When I started writing, it was pure torture. But for some reason I wanted to write. I knew that if I did it long enough I’d start to like it.

Blog writing has opened up a whole new world for me. I have made some amazing friends who I will probably never see, but feel a true connection with. I make time now to keep those connections growing. Blogging has given me an audience and helped me see how important it is for students to find an audience as well.

Taking the time to write about my teaching does two things for me. It forces me to look at areas where I need to improve. It helps become a better writer. I understand what my students go through when they sit down to write because I am a writer, too. Plus it has shown me that I’m not all that dumb! I can write! My name is Jenny and I am a writer. You can be one too!



5 comments:

  1. Jenny is definitely not dumb. I love her writing voice, and I can tell that she is the kind of teacher who brings out the best in her students.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tammy! Your words make my day!
      Jenny

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  2. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing such an insightful post.

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    1. Thanks for reading! I'm sorry about the tears...I had some when I wrote it too!
      Jenny

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  3. Great post, Jenny! I cannot believe a teacher would say something so mean. That was really sad to read.

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