Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Teacher/Writer Interface

First of all, thank you all for your patience. I've been a crummy blogger lately. Two words... report cards. I'll be back to blog visitin' this week.
Do you ever find yourself grumbling about the way your "day job" interferes with your writing life? I know I do. Last week I had to smack myself upside the head and lay out all the ways teaching 5th grade, my day job, is actually a benefit to my writing. Here are some of the perks:

  • Exposure to AMAZING kid lit.  - From the Allie Finkle Books (Thank You, Meg Cabot) through Donald Zinkoff in LOSER (Thank you, Jerry Spinelli), I languish in delicious middle grade stories and a myriad of different voices.
  • Getting kids jazzed about books - I'm handing out the Hobbit like candy. I want them to read it before the movie comes out.
  • Interacting with our school librarian - We chat about trends and recommend titles to one another.
  • Daily living with a kid POV on the world - Yes, these people have a whole different mind set.
  • Discussing lit. with my fellow teachers - "Ah Ha" moments abound when we talk about the different approaches to kid/literature interaction.
  • Teaching grammar - Need I say more. Some days I get as much out of a lesson as the kids.
  • Critical Thinking and Literary Analysis - Practicing this on a daily basis using the solid gold writing of others shines up my own work.

How does your "day job" interface with your writing?


  1. I'm a freelance translator, which allows me to work at home. That is great for writing.

    I'm also, obviously, used to working with texts and scanning them for errors etc. before submission.

  2. That's awesome! For me? It helps my writing life because I generally need escape. LOL!!! Love those rascals... Oh for others that might read this my day job is "Mommy".

  3. Leslie, I can totally see how this helps you, especially as a kid lit author. When I volunteer at the school, I'm constantly absorbing all these little details. Plus you learn what the kids worry about at that age, which is also a goldmine. I tend to forget that centuries ago, when I was in 5th grade, someone ignoring me during recess was THE worry of the day.

  4. My "day job" is being a mom and wife. With three kids, the work never ends, but in a way, the heavy workload forces me to be more organized and disciplined about my writing than I might have been otherwise.

  5. My interfernce is all the homework and cheer.Im going to quit cheer once im done this year,but homework still got 10 years left.

  6. but cheer helps me write about a cheerleader waiting to win the nationals.Who doesnt?

  7. I struggle with this all time.... I'm a writer by day, but for other things. So by the time I sit down to work on my creative projects/WIP in the evenings, I'm spent of words. It's a constant challenge of balancing projects & trying to avoid writing burn-out.

  8. It's more the other way round for me. My writing gets in the way of me cleaning the house. I should probably do some yoga too, considering how inflexible I am. I always have good intentions, but I get lost in the writing. :D

  9. every day life gets in the way. Its hard. thanks for stopping by my blog!

  10. Oh no, blogger just ate my comment! grrr
    Oh well.
    Anyway, I was saying that whenever my 2yo is around (which is all the time since he doesn't go to school yet) I can't write at all!
    And I also said that it must be nice to be friends with the school librarian! :D