Where I Belong

The last year and a half have presented new professional challenges and I’ve sometimes been left wondering, “Am I in the right place?” At some all time lows, I have Googled “Progressive Schools,” and even reached out to other bloggers, who seem to be in places that are on fire with learning, inquiring how they found their schools.

Last year, our school created a school based Literacy Team made up of teachers spanning all of our grade levels, K-5, along with our principal, fellow literacy teachers, our librarian, and a special educator. We brought our team together for the first time last year to do a walk through of our school, just noticing and wondering. When we met again this fall, we decided to focus our learning this school year on differentiating writing instruction. We encouraged the team to leave the meeting with a research question, something to think about and try out before our next meeting.

After our first 3-5 TC Day this week, we pulled our 3-5 Literacy Team members together to debrief with our staff developer. We had spent the day reviewing the writing process and thinking about what this work could look like with kids, what might happen if we had kids really begin to think about and develop their own writing processes. (You can read more about that from my friend Dawn here.) The team came up with all kinds of great ideas to keep the work going. We talked about posting the traditional process in all of our classrooms, making the connection between our lessons and the process more transparent for kids. We talked about having kids think about how they felt at each step of the process. Then we talked about finding ways to make this learning span across our school, K-5, to bring our community together and show kids that we are all doing this work together.

After we brainstormed hanging process writing pieces on our bulletin boards, with kids’ reflections about their writing process, during conference week, I paused and asked the group, “Are you sure? I don’t want to put another thing on anyone.”

“I think we’re all on board after our work today. We are going to be doing this work, we might as well celebrate it,” one teacher exclaimed as others around the table nodded their heads in agreement.

“Plus, didn’t one of our staff developers once say that she could tell that our school really valued art based on our bulletin boards. This would show our commitment to writing,” another teacher chimed in.

And just like that, I was full again. I do work in a progressive school with teachers who are on fire for learning. As the only literacy coach in the building, I sometimes temporarily loose steam for being a literacy cheerleader. Our literacy team, along with other passionate teachers, remind me that I’m not the only one cheering.

For that, I am grateful.

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5 thoughts on “Where I Belong

  1. On fire with passion and inquiry – yes! Grateful – yes! If we keep sharing our questions around literacy, around teaching and learning overall, we will continue to fuel the fire right in our very own building with our very own colleagues! Let’s keep at it!

    Liked by 1 person

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