Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Outed Myself

Today was the first day of school. I was doing my usual first day song and dance, telling my students all of the rules, letting them know what I expected of them this year, blah blah blah.

Then came the part of the class when I told them about myself. Who I am, where I went to school, what I do for fun.

"I like to read," I told them. "I read a lot." I showed them what I was reading (Mockingjay), I told them how many books I'd read so far this year (71...this was 72).

And then, I said it.

"I'm also a writer."

Blank stares.

"I'm writing a novel."

More blank stares.

I didn't really know what they were thinking, so I did what I always do when I'm unsure of how people are reacting to the words that are coming out of my mouth.

I kept talking.

I told them how long it was, and how long it took me to write it, and my time frame for getting it ready to query.

Then a hand popped up. And another one. They had questions!

"How many pages is it?"
"How long did it take you?"
and, of course
"What's it about?"

(The answer to that last one proved I really need to work on my verbal pitch...I did NOT grab their attention in one sentence...but for some reason I wasn't really expecting that question.)

Oh, and then the best one
"Would it be possible for us to read it when you're done?"

It was scary to tell 120 people today that I was a writer. To make it that real.
But I got it OUT THERE. On the first day of school, these kids know that their English teacher is...
tall
pretty sarcastic
and
a writer
(way cooler than being the golf coach, right?)

And it seems like I'll have their support, which is cool.
(When they were walking out the door, I heard one girl say to her friend, "I'm going to love this class.")

Now I know they will be asking, "How is your book going?" "Are you done yet?" "When are you getting published?" And I'll have to answer to them. The thing I love about my students...they keep me honest and they keep me motivated. This is why I decided to tell them. I can't let them down. I have to make it REAL.

8 comments:

  1. Very cool! Such a great way to bring what you are passionate about into the classroom and inspire students :-)

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  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who outed myself this year. :)

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  3. Congrats! Outting yourself is a huge step. I hope you'll get to have fun passing along some updates here and there.

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  4. YAY! That was a big step! Sounds like it went really, really well.

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  5. Oh, teenagers. They will definitely keep you honest.

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  6. These are the moments when teaching loves you back. <3

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  7. Your students are going to hold you accountable now! That's awesome that they are so supportive. Congrats!!!

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  8. Congrats! Aw I love this post. Your students are very lucky to have such an awesome English teacher! :D

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