For me, though, the big self-serving outcome of having a student teacher is the sheer volume of writing time afforded me right square in the middle of the day. For several weeks, I no longer have to squirrel away time early in the morning or late in the evening to wedge in a few hundred words. No, I can have my coffee, read the news, browse Facebook, check my email, and linger over a leisurely breakfast before work because on the days when Beth, my student teacher, is responsible for all the classes, I can write. Thursday was the first day she had every period and I got almost 1800 words written. Yesterday, the number was lower, but only because I did some editing and revising before I started on a new chapter.
And one of the cool unexpected benefits of being a teacher who's a writer is that I've learned that I can write anywhere and under nearly any circumstances, many that would be so distracting that a person without my superpower (that of being able to concentrate on fifteen things at the same time--every teacher develops it or becomes something else quickly) would find simply untenable. Yesterday, after I sat in on a couple of classes to verify she was comfortable with the lesson, I went away and wrote in a quieter place, but Thursday, I was at my desk all day as she taught. I even participated, at her request, in the activity. And, as I said, I wrote almost 1800 words. Yesterday, I edited that scene and found that, aside from needing a few minor tweaks and word changes, it was pretty strong stuff.
So I found another reason to be thankful for being a teacher. It's not only made me a better writer--it's given me confidence that, should the need ever arise, I could knock off a solid chapter in the middle of a hurricane.
Before I sign off for another week, I want to remind you that I'll be at the Parkersburg and Wood County Library today from 2pm to 3pm, selling and signing copies of my debut novel, Harsh Prey. If you live nearby, come by and say hello.