Below is a teaser of my most recent post on MovingWriters.org titled: “Critical Connections with Ourselves, Our Students, and Each Other“
The reality is…I am not heading back into the classroom this fall. I am in a major transition phase—I feel like I reached a career peak (of sorts) and when I got to the top, I could only see more peaks in the distance and I realized that I wanted to climb them, too. This current phase is definitely uncomfortable (Brené Brown calls it the “Day 2” phase and she has a new podcast episode about it, too). “Day 2” is like climbing down a mountain in the dark…you are not quite sure where you are going, but you know that you can’t turn back. And within this place of uncertainty, I have also realized (thanks to my friend’s 10 year old) that I am grieving—grieving the loss of my life in Abu Dhabi, the fact that I will mostly likely not have my own classroom again, and the collegiality of working alongside other teachers who want to learn and be better.
And it was that last part (around collegiality) that got me thinking about what I could offer this year for my theme: I could still talk to my colleagues about teaching and learning …and mostly about how they are incorporating writing in their curriculum. So, yes, this is (selfishly) partly about me…providing a space where I can still have conversations that get me excited about education with my people, where my musings can go beyond this page. But this is also about all of us…about being inspired to continue to make shifts in our thinking about what and how we are teaching in order to create even more joyful writing experiences for our students. So instead of retreating into my own mountain range (and I am currently living in a beautiful one), I am going to connect with a few friends/colleagues from various schools around the world to see what they are thinking about writing this year—how it is the same…and (hopefully, more so) how it is different.
Because, let’s face it, the majority of teachers are heading back to the fall academic year in an unfamiliar learning topography. But this unfamiliarity, this making our way through the dark, allows for new trails to be discovered—the way forward is no longer a clear worn, comfortable path in front of us. And thank goodness for that!
So what exactly am I going to do?
I hope to have 2-3 conversations throughout the year (beginning, middle, and end of the year ideally) with a group of teachers from a variety of grade levels and subject areas (although most will be English based). I will record the conversations and post the videos as well as have a written component reflecting on the conversation, linking any resources discussed, and asking questions to continue our thinking.
Topics of discussion will include:
- How do you see yourself as a writer?
- What types of writing do you focus on in your class?
- Are there changes to how you will incorporate writing this year?
- Are there any constraints on your curriculum in relation to writing?
- What is your goal for students in connection to their writing lives?
- What are your favourite resources for teaching writing?
Who are these teachers?
Check out the MovingWriters site to see a video of them introducing themselves…AND the rest of my post 🙂