Let's get real.
No matter how often I tell my students that daily quickwriting will help them strengthen their writing muscles, I am convinced that some of them still don't believe me.
No matter how often I demonstrate how one can take a quickwrite from the kernel of an idea to published, award-winning prose, I know that some of them still don't see how this is relevant to them.
No matter how often I encourage my students to expand their ideas during quickwrites, I hear the grumbling from those who still don't see themselves as writers.
After all, I am just their teacher. An English teacher. Of COURSE I'm going to tell them that writing is important, that they have a voice, that they should tell their stories. That's what I'm getting paid for, right?
Sometimes, students need someone on the outside to show them what's right in front of them. Sometimes, students need someone to show them what's possible in the real world.
I'm guilty of this, too.
When I was growing up, my mom often told me that I was a good writer. But who was she? Just a stay at home mom. What could she possibly know about writing? But my teachers, who had seen the writing of hundreds, if not thousands, of students had to know good writing when they saw it. Right? So when they told me that I could write, I believed them.
Of course, I value writing.
What about those kids who don't? Perhaps they need to see writing through the perspective of other people — like small business owners.
This is why I'm sharing with you a project my friend, Angela Wills, invited me to join. That friend is a small business owner and internet marketer I've known for more than a decade. I've watched her help thousands of work at home moms build their businesses as a virtual assistant (building websites, creating web graphics, managing WordPress websites) and as an Internet marketer and business coach (providing written training materials to small business owners, coaching clients through the process of growing online businesses). I know she's successful because she is transparent. (You can see her May 2018 and July 2018 monthly income reports.)
So when I decided I wanted to put my writing money where my mouth is and build reThink ELA this summer, I joined Angela's Laptop Lifestyles Business Club where she is helping me learn how to find and better serve my customers (since I've joined and implemented some of her action plans, my email list has grown from 1,000 members to more than 8,000).
For the past few weeks, Angela has worked with the members of our club to create a bundle of business products that include:
- Customizable marketing plans
- Canva templates
- Digital business setup training
- A webinar on how to create content that attracts customer attention
- A guide to eating healthier
- Training on how to use journaling as an effective mindset, organization and motivational tool
- Pre-written content you can customize to promote your website
- A 2019 business blog planner
- A simple podcast setup system
- A guide to creating a “green” lifestyle
- A workshop on how to find balance in your life
All of these products involve communication with a customer — whether written or recorded on video — and many of those include teaching customers how to communicate via email, social media, websites, blogs, or other methods.
You can show students the sales page Angela created using her designs and the written sales content from each bundle contributor.
According to Angela:
This bundle is “a collaboration effort from members of the Laptop Lifestyle Business Club (LLBC for short). We have been running a tight ship since 2015 and we have an incredible wealth of member knowledge just bursting at the seams of our little club. With over 140 members at varying stages of Laptop Lifestyle creation, this bundle features the members ready to teach you the best of their skills, knowledge and resources to help you make the world a better place.”
Naturally, I was over the moon when Angela personally asked me if I would like to contribute to the bundle — and I immediately thought of my 180+ Days of Quickwrites unit. Not only are these quickwrites good for students, but they are good for teachers and small business owners who need to stretch and strengthen out-of-shape writing muscles. Coupled with the other products in the bundle and small business owners have all the written resources they need to start and grow an online business. Students can preview these product ideas through the sales page and also analyze the sales page itself:
- What type of appeal is each contributor using? Ethos, logos, pathos…
- Who is the audience for this bundle?
- How have the contributors used their skills and talents to build an online business?
Students can even analyze Angela's income reports.
What better way to show our students how important communication — and written communication specifically — is than to put our money where our mouth is. Not to mention, if you're starting a small business of your own, this bundle can help you grow that business and provide the income you need to support your family — or at least your book buying habit. What a story you could share with your students about how you're using your hobbies or expertise to provide additional support for your family, even though teaching itself doesn't pay that much.
Even better, my quickwrites unit is normally $14.97. With this bundle, you get my unit, plus more than $2,000 in products for just $27.
If you're thinking about starting an online business — whether you're selling a physical product you've created, like handmade cards or crocheted scarves, or a service such as tax preparation, you can
check out the bundle here. (Available until September 28th ONLY!)
And once you're growing that business, share your successes — and your failures — with your students. Be real with them, and they will listen to you.
Not sure about the quickwrites or the bundle?
Check out the first five days of school (or the term) quickwrites for free by signing up below:
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my Master's of Education in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students' voices and choices.