blogging · community

Saying Goodbye

When I joined the Two Writing Teachers team in 2013, I never imagined what an important part of my life it would become. I had recently moved from Brooklyn to rural Vermont, I was pregnant with my son Jackson, and my daughter was just about to turn four years old.

Eleven years of posting later, my son is nine, my daughter is thirteen, and we’ve grown roots in our tight-knit community here in Jericho. I have a different job and new ideas about teaching. My face has a few more wrinkles, and my hair has a lot more gray.

My work at Two Writing Teachers has grown along with me. I never imagined that I would write three hundred and fifty posts. 350! I never imagined that I’d get recognized at conferences, or receive emails and comments from teachers all over the world, or depend on the March Slice of Life Story Challenge to get me through a pandemic.

My first post ever to Two Writing Teachers was about my favorite teacher I’ve ever had, Mrs. Davis. She was kind and supportive, and her classroom was filled with blocks, and puzzles, and books. She played harpsichord while we sat in a circle and sang “Rainbow Connection” from the Muppets. She wore sweaters with tiny little felt animals that she would detach and use as puppets.

This site is the grown-up version of Mrs. Davis’s classroom. I get to write about the importance of language in the block center, or the value of free-writing, or the joy of poetry. The topics I’ve been able to write about here are as vivid and bright to me now as Mrs. Davis’s dangly jewelry was in third grade.

If this site is Mrs. Davis’s classroom, then Stacey Shubitz is our teacher and the rest of the team are my classmates. I cannot say goodbye to this work without also saying goodbye to my coauthors and Stacey. The way Stacey leads us is a model for how any organization should work. We collaboratively plan every blog series, right down to the title and images that will be used. She is thoughtful and kind – but also decisive and organized. She rolls out each new decision step-by-step. She has a mind like a steel trap – remembering every blog series title and Slice of Life overview post ever written. She models leadership in a way I can only aspire to.

I’m not sure if anyone on my team wears puppet sweaters or plays the harpsichord, but our work together has meant the world to me. The global community that Two Writing Teachers had brought together pushes us all to think and grow as leaders and learners. With each comment a teacher leaves for me, I learn more about the work and think more deeply about what makes strong teaching – and what works and doesn’t work in a real classroom. While I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life, I’ll think of my time here and remember it as the place where I grew the most as a teacher and writer.

16 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. Beth, I appreciate all you have written and shared and I loved our time together as co-authors. You have left a legacy here, and as you can see, your posts have influenced more educators and children than you will ever know! Wishing you well in your next chapter!


  2. Beth, thank you so much for all you have done for me and teachers everywhere. Each blog post you wrote was filled with helpful information and tips. You have always been so positive and supportive. I am in awe of your grace and talent. Your reach to educators has been far and wide. I am so grateful to you! Thank you, thank you, thank you! May your next chapter be filled with joy and wonder. I hope our paths cross again on the Vermont circuit. Hugs! Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sad to see you go Beth! WHat amazing contributions you have given through this blog. Your wisdom and insights are so appreciated. Good luck in your next adventure!


  4. Beth, I don’t say much but I do appreciate your work. I taught poetry during lunch and after school for 40 years, while I was working at the most fun job in the world, being a children’s librarian. As the parameters of writing took on new acronyms and practices, we were not offered much in the way of training as librarian/writers, until. Until an amazing principal I worked with who invited me to be a part of everything including the Columbia Teacher’s College Reading and Writing project where my world changed. Then she encouraged me even more by suggesting specific Professional development which led me to go back to school at the age of 58 and get an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry. The late Carol Anderson-Hoffmann changed my life, my world and the lives of many children as a result. You have been a part of my journey since you began this marvelous blog. The lessons did not always apply to me, but the practices helped me immensely over the years. Thank you so much. I just finished my 5th book, which is a book of poetry prompts called “Catching the Light- poetry prompts for children of all ages”. Thank YOU for your encouragement. It made, and makes a difference. Linda Trott Dickman BSE, MLS, MFA


  5. Thank you Beth for all of your guidance and support! You are a true rock star and I’m thankful to have learned from you! All the best on your new adventures!


  6. 350 posts?! Your contributions to this blog are vast and will continue to provide educators with intelligent, insightful, and relevant content about writing workshop for years to come. Our team is so lucky to have had you working with us all these years! You’ve pushed our thinking and made us better workshop educators.

    For the rest of this blog’s days, I’ll always put things to the Beth Test (i.e., Does this pass muster as excellent workshop teaching?). If it doesn’t, it gets revised or scrapped!

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Your appreciation truly touches me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you for the past decade. It has been a pleasure collaborating with everyone to plan and execute our blog series, and I am proud of the work we have accomplished together.

    Your comments about my leadership style mean a lot to me, and your admiration humbles me. I hope to continue to grow and improve as a leader.

    I look forward to staying in touch and hearing about what’s next for you!


  7. What an amazing ride, Beth! I feel so lucky to have ridden alongside you, for at least part of the way. Good luck to you, Coach!


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