A Virtual Summer Writing Camp for Educators?

I’ve been reading a lot of posts about how to get students to continue writing over the summer. The ideas and suggestions TWT writers have offered, in particular our author/mentors, have been over the top. I almost wish I could be a kid back in school just to benefit from the influence of some of these teacher writers.

But my real interest today is: What Will Keep  Teachers/ Coaches/ Students /Retirees Engaged in Writing This Summer? I was prompted to think about this when an offer popped up to join a summer writing group for teachers. I was beginning to feel a bit adrift knowing that during the summer most teachers will be “off the grid,” and rightfully so to take a break from their 10-month teaching tasks. And I will miss those who do, but I “get it” having been in that position myself until two years ago.

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But there are some of us who are late bloomers and are still eager for some meaningful writing exchange to take place during the summer. Is it possible we can create our own summer writing group, or several groups, based on common interests/themes? For example, as a retiree I would be interested in hearing from other former educators about how they apply the skills they learned as teachers to their present lives in retirement. I think there would be some great stories and some great examples of “life after teaching” to share. Or, we could have a summer reading club and all agree to read the same book and share comments.

I plan to continue writing my Tuesday SOL, of course, but I’m open to more writing if there will be feedback. I am even willing to volunteer to “host” one of the groups (despite my lack of computer savvy).

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What say you, fellow slicers?  TWT coordinators: What do you think?

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21 thoughts on “A Virtual Summer Writing Camp for Educators?”

  1. What an interesting idea! I know Teachers Write, hosted by Kate Messner, is a large summer writing community. I like the idea of smaller groups gathered around interests. I hope some of the retirees here message you and you could start those conversations! Last year some of us read a children’s novel, A Handful of Stars, together and wrote reading responses and then reflected on that process. I would love to do something like that again! There is also a great #cyberPD community of teachers who will be reading the professional book Do It Yourself Literacy and sharing thoughts along the way through blogs. I participated last summer and learned so much! Thanks for bringing this up, Barbara!

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  2. I just commented on an IMWAYR post about my excitement for my summer reading (including lots of professional reading) and agree with you about being excited about summer writing too (just started my new summer writing notebooks today). Let me know if you do coordinate something and I will try to get involved. I am doing Teachers Write, a few online book studies, and some PD (TCRWP Institute, IRA, and NErdCamp, so sort of feeling busy already, but…

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    1. I am thinking of using Julia Cameron’s newest book since she is such an inspiring writer. She wrote The Artist’s Way decades ago, and changed the landscape for those interested in exploring their own creativity. This would involve, possibly, writing short pieces based on our life experiences. Would that interest you?

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  3. Because of TWT my writing frequency has certainly been kicked up a notch. This is the first year I completed the March challenge and have posted every week since, even though there have been times where I thought I would just skip a week! I know I want to keep my reading and writing ball in motion over the summer too! I’ve been thinking about Teachers Write, but I’m not sure. I’ll also be participating in #cyberpd over the summer.

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    1. I’d like to know more about the #cyberpd if you can share some info with me. Since I am retired, I do not have a classroom or a circle of colleagues for pd; but I do write for other sites and wish to continue to develop as a writer. I am thinking of perhaps using Julia Cameron’s latest book in which she uses prompts to get her readers to write short chapters about their lives. (She wrote the seminal book, The Artist’s Way, decades ago.) I have always found her writing to be very inspiring. Would that interest you?

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  4. I am interested. I’ve signed up for Teacher’s Write, but I don’t know how that will go. We happen to be on vacation when it starts and internet is sketchy at best. I have just completed my last year in the library for now. My husband travels a lot and I’m going to go with him. Our kids are older and…why not? So, I’d love something during the year too!

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    1. I am thinking of using Julia Cameron’s latest book as a springboard for our writing/reading group.
      She suggests prompts for writing short pieces about your own life experiences. She wrote The Artist’s Way decades ago which started a movement in exploring your own creativity. Would that interest you?

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  5. I am thinking about using Julia Cameron’s latest book (the author of the groundbreaking Artist’s Way) as a jumping off point for writing. She has a kind of memoir activity that involves writing short chapters based on our life experiences. That’s a possibility…. Would that interest you?

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    1. I am honored that you have such confidence in me. It’s still an idea; I was testing the waters. I’ll let you know how it turns out and, of course, you are welcome to join us if it happens!

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  6. What a great idea, Barbara. From the comments above it looks like you have great interest in such a project. I like the idea of a small group because it doesn’t seem as intimidating as a large group especially for one who has never been part of such a group. I look forward to hearing more and how things pan out.

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