I see you. Finishing manuscripts on holidays and summers. Attending See Jane Write meetings on Tuesdays. I see you finishing your grading so that you can steal a moment to work on your screenplay. You are the teacher that incorporates writing into your lessons. Letting kids know that writing isn’t a bore; it’s a major source of creativity, joy and a skill set that can make you money in the future. You are the Teacher Writer…Heavy on the writer.
You’ve been told that those who can’t do, teach. But you know that’s not true; those who teach…do…and they do it well.
This week I headed back to the classroom for the 2018-2019 school year. Juggling my teaching career with my writing career and with See Jane Write is hard, very hard. In fact, it’s so hard that sometimes I thinking of giving it all up. I think of ending See Jane Write — the blog and the business— and I even think of no longer accepting freelance writing assignments. I often feel I would be a happier person and a better teacher if I focused on teaching and teaching alone. But now I know this isn’t true at all.
I have a coffee mug that reads “Teacher by day, Blogger by night” and that’s a pretty accurate description of who I am and what I do. By day I teach English at a local school for kids gifted in the arts and sciences. By night I blog about writing, wellness, and women’s empowerment, I run See Jane Write, and I freelance for a number of local and national media outlets.
For years I worked to keep these two worlds of mine — writer and teacher — separate. I never talked about my blog at work and since I often shared my blog posts via social media, I never accepted Facebook friend requests from students and I kept my Twitter account locked so I could control who followed me. But then one day a student came up to my desk and said to me the words I never wanted to hear: “Mrs. Bowser, you know I read your blog.”
During my first year of teaching, my classroom looked as if it belonged to a 40-something-year-old white man. Why? Because before I was hired it did belong to a 40-something-year-old white man and when his classroom became my classroom I didn’t bother to change anything.
As a teacher I get to make New Year Resolutions not once, but twice a year. Every August marks the start of a new school year and another chance to set goals and intentions for my teaching career and all other parts of my life. Here are my resolutions for the 2017-2018 school year: (more…)