This conversation with Eva was a gift. I got to experience a reader and writer in transition...someone who needed encouragement to continue to grow and flourish. I got to be a part of the trajectory of someone's growth! That is incredible. So often, school becomes a series of start and stop assignments. Here, Eva let me in to her trajectory as a learner. This is incredibly personal. I could have destroyed her confidence had I taken her story and pointed out the errors--had I not attended to what she needed--had I not taken the time to connect with her in the moment. Read More
My transforming the physical space of my classroom has been a long, incremental shift...a work in progress because it makes me reflect on how I teach (not just where we learn). Not too many years ago, a student teacher asked me, "Do you mind if I decorate the penitentiary?"
Point made. Read More
If we do not make time to reconnect with what we value and love, what we value and love becomes more of a memory than a mode. Values become ideas. And ideas, well, ideas are disposable. Read More
And this, to me, can be the heart of many conferences--showing kids why they should be happy with the work they are doing. When I speak with students, I purposely avoid anything that leaves students with a trail of errors following them or doubting who they are as a reader or writer.
It comes back to encouragement, doesn't it? Read More
A better alternative to saying no in a learning community is saying yes. Yes allows room for personal growth and exploration. Yes allows the teacher to ask students what did you learn in the process? what will you do differently next time? would you explain your thinking to me? Yes is encouraging. Yes demonstrates that students have control over their learning and that we are there to help, guide, and mentor. Ultimately, yes inspires confidence a belief that "I am capable of working my way through challenges." My teacher believes in me. Read More