When I read about people who have saved diaries and notebooks since they were twelve, I’m sad because I don’t have these relics from my childhood. I did keep a diary when I was in 5th or 6th grade, but distinctly remember tearing it up directly into the garbage can in our garage, ashamed or embarrassed by something I’d written.
However, I did fill notebooks with drawings of floor plans for houses I dreamed of living in one day. At one point, I considered being an architect, but I abandoned this idea somewhere along the way.
Or did I? For isn’t a writer an architect of sorts? We take a blank piece of paper and design not just houses and buildings, but whole worlds. We’re not constrained by the laws of physics and don’t have to worry about the cost of our creations. We can inhabit our dream worlds to our heart’s content. (Within reason!)
And isn’t being a teacher also similar to being an architect? We design welcoming classrooms and environments that support and nurture learning. Classrooms where we help children acquire the tools they need to construct meaning from the books, articles, and websites they read. And most importantly, we help our students develop the skills they need to become the architects of their own lives. For me, that’s more fulfilling than designing houses could ever be.
Thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.