Every weekend I show up here to celebrate and reflect on the week. Thank you Ruth Ayers for creating the space to share with others who do the same. Taking the time to stop and reflect matters. Reading the reflections of others on similar journeys bolsters and instigates more reflection. Thanks to all who share their celebrations. You add to mine.
We spent some messy and difficult moments this week trying to figure out how to build sound arguments. Connecting and sorting ideas and evidence can be confusing and frustrating. We worked hard at looking at it one way and then another. Pieces are coming together at different rates. All are trying to clear a road that is their own. Here’s one: an improved version of my teaching.
And another quite different journey to understanding.
And others struggle to clear a way, to make sense of the evidence, to prove what they believe.
I celebrate my students’ persistence. Their willingness to work alongside me, to find a way in this work. I celebrate post-its, highlighters and my iPhone camera. These tools allow us to sort, select, and reexamine. I celebrate my students’ ability to change their direction and have courage to make their own path.
This week I celebrate writing and reading that is personal and sometimes buried deep; protected in a place where no one sees. My last conference on Friday was with a reluctant writer and reader. I asked him what was good about writing. He said, after a very long pause, poetry. Wow I had no idea. I asked him what was his favorite book ever. He shrugged and mentioned Smile and Sisters. Hmm. Poetry and graphic novels. I used to hesitate giving students novels in verse. I thought students just zip through them with little understanding. But this tweet made me reconsider the entire genre and its possibility.
Of course. It’s easy entry. Few words on a page. A gentle way to pull at the reader in bits that don’t tire. Words on the page that can be taken in deeply providing space and energy to do so.
We’ve been reading Locomotion, So, I asked. Do you like our shared reading work? His eyes lit up. Bingo. The world of novels in verse and my current read (on the right) came to mind. Maybe this is a path for him.
Paths to learning and growth are personal. There is no one way, no magic ticket. I’m lucky I have the opportunity to venture down different roads with students and teachers everyday. Here are some paths I wandered down this morning: writing from Elizabeth, reading from Nora, homework from Pernille; and book love from Carrie.