Eight years ago we began to work together, Tom and Mary from the SUNY tower, and me in the Pearl RIver trenches. It was exciting for all of us to begin a local site of the National Writing Project with a clean slate. There had been a writing project called the Hudson Valley Writing Project, but we just took the name, bringing to our new collaboration, our passion and our separate experiences.
I had been dreaming about a community of educators my whole school life, since college maybe, and I wondered then if in fact, we would really create a community. I was up for the challenge.
Eight years later, I can say YES!!!!! I am a member of the HVWP community of passionate educators and the 8 years, getting here have been a true joy of my personal and professional life.
How did we get here? Long story, one I am prepared to share and one that will take time, episodes that I have been trying to write.
For example, the first three summers we worked together as a trio in our Summer Institute, the heart of all writing projects, then Mary stepped out to care for her sons and take on other HVWP projects. Tom and I co-facilitated our SI for the next three, and then Tom took a break for two summers and Mary and I joined forces. It’s my turn to step away next summer. I wonder how that will feel and how I create new projects. Tom is thrilled to help me craft these as is the way of the writing project.
How did we get here? Good question, one we think about often. Maybe honesty, dealing with ego, embracing the national NWP network, enjoying the growth of our community each summer…so much to consider. It’s made my post high school teaching life exiting.
More to share…