Dear reader #SOLC19

Two summers ago, I had the unforgettable opportunity to take a week-long writing course with educator/Stenhouse author Shawna Coppola at New Hampshire Literacy Institutes at UNH. (If you’ve never been, find a way to attend this program founded by Tom Newkirk!) As a way to introduce ourselves to her before Writing Redefined began, Shawna asked each attendee to write a letter telling her about us as a learner, an educator, and a fun fact about ourselves. I have been wanting to write an “About Me” Slice during this first week of the SOLC, as many participants have, and when I stumbled upon the document today, I liked the idea of writing a letter to Slice readers. I dusted the letter off, retooled it, and here it is.

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Dear reader,

I have been anticipating our month of Slicing together for almost a year now, and I cannot believe the time has come! As an introduction, here is a bit about me as a learner and educator, and a fun fact. As you can see, I believe visual imagery can enhance writing. My weekly Slice of Life and Poetry Friday posts on my blog, Wondering and Wandering, always include an image, very often one of my own photographs.

Me as a learner

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I’m not going to lie. School was hard for me. I read very slowly, so I always felt I was trailing behind my classmates. Learning is exciting for me when it is visual, hands-on, experiential, and practical. Passively sitting and listening empty-vessel style, and in later grades quietly taking notes for hours on end, just didn’t work for me. Where was sketchnoting back then? I vowed to be the complete opposite as an educator.

Me as an educator

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In September, I began my 21st year in education. (That’s after 11 years in the business world. I don’t miss that!) I’m a Kindergarten teacher and Grade Leader at an elementary school in Massachusetts. Apart from a year in preschool and another in First Grade, I’ve been loving the wonderful world of Kindergarten. I run a joyful, hands-on/minds-on, wonder-filled, inquiry-based classroom. I share my love of nature, vernal pools, history, poetry, and writing whenever I can. In addition, I have a side hustle as a Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis.org.

Fun fact about me

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I love to dig things up! I know that sounds odd, but I have always been interested in history, and the idea of artifacts from the past being dug up and their stories told is fascinating to me. To support this obsession, I’ve participated in two amazing experiences. In 2012, I won a 30-day teacher travel fellowship to the UK to work on an archaeological dig at Hadrian’s Wall (above) and consult with educators at several well-known museums about object-based teaching, including the British Museum, Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, and the Roman Virulamium Museum. Blogging during the fellowship was my first public writing adventure, too! (Click here to take a peek!) Two summers ago, my husband and I traveled to the UK to hike the Southwest Coast Path and go fossiling on the Jurassic Coast in Devon and Dorset. (This trip was inspired by Tracy Chevalier’s book Remarkable Creatures and it’s real-life heroine, Mary Anning.)

To connect all of this back to writing, I believe life is to be lived, and those experiences shared. I am looking forward to a great month of writing, learning, and getting to know one another. Happy Slicing!

Christie

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This post is part of the annual month-long Slice of Life writing challenge organized by Two Writing Teachers. Join us! It’s my third year of slicing in the challenge and I’m looking forward to writing and learning along with all of you.

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8 thoughts on “Dear reader #SOLC19

  1. A simple format that led us to a deeper knowledge of who you are. Thanks for sharing. I love your obsession for digging. Such a unique hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous structure! I went to a UNH summer lit Institute 20 plus years ago and Maureen Barbieri was my leader! I learned SOOO much there – I still carry it with me to this day! I am contemplating heading up this summer in July! Loved the pictures and the descriptions in this slice! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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