The Morehead Writing Project is hosting a conference on Saturday (Nov. 3). Writing Eastern Kentucky is a small regional conference but we bring together the best of the writing project for one pretty terrific day. We will celebrate writing and writers by bringing in published authors of poetry, novels, and graphic narratives and we celebrate teaching and teachers by showcasing some of our rock star teacher-leaders and their outstanding classroom practice.
It is going to be a great day full of writing and learning and connecting with ideas and people and it is the perfect antidote to the mid-semester blues. I am hopeful it will give me the energy and excitement I need to power through the rest of the semester and the marathon of grading and feedback that is finals week. I love teaching and working with teachers, but sometimes I get caught up in the daily grind and feel more than a little overwhelmed by the size of my “To Do” list. No matter how much you love your job it is easy to lose the joy when the grading piles up and your email box overflows. It is too easy then to cross nonessential items off your list. That grading has to get done but attending a conference is a luxury we simply can’t afford, we think. How can we spend half our weekend just writing and hanging out with other teachers when we have lessons and lectures to plan?
Now that’s where we are wrong. Spending a day celebrating the work that we love with others who get “it” is not a luxury – especially when the job gets demanding. That is the best time to step off the treadmill to refresh and refill your teaching spirit. As a rule, teachers are givers and rarely feel comfortable taking time for themselves, but if you do not take time to refill your spirit and your energy and your creativity then you might find the well has gone dry. Taking time to refresh and refill yourself as a teacher, as a writer, as a person, is never a waste of time and your students and colleagues will be the better for your renewal as well.
Remember, just like anything else, if you do not make the time to refresh and renew then you will never find it. If you are within driving distance of Eastern Kentucky on Saturday then we hope you choose to join us at Writing Eastern Kentucky. Don’t even worry about finding your writing journal, we’ll provide one for you! Come write with us and come learn with us. You will be the better for it. I promise.