I have my morning rituals back as August ushers in a cool breeze that allows us to open the windows and doors and shut off the AC. I am breathing slowly and sipping a cup of coffee as Tuvia reads the Times and I think about my scheduled gym session as I write my blog post that will be linked to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Tuesdays.
But hang on, it’s not that the month of July wasn’t amazing. It was. It’s not that I didn’t feel invigorated and productive, I did. I co-facilitated the Hudson Valley Writing Project’s 10th Summer Institute. Twelve new fellows from schools in our very large service area, covering grades Kindergarten- college, and subject areas way beyond the stereotyped high school English contingent to Science, Social Studies, even our first Math teacher. And in our leadership team, 4 Returning Fellows from past SI’s were charged with the responsibility to lead writing groups, model workshops, support fellows experimenting in technology and feel respected for their passion and expertize. And as I think about moving into other areas of leadership next summer, I helped foster the leadership of a new SI facilitator in her new role and our circle opened even wider as fellow directors from SUNY New Paltz joined us as we explored recent educational research. And as the ahha’s filled the room the heart of it all was a unique sense of community centered first in writing and moving to learning and sharing together.
As for my writing it was hard to wear two hats. Yes, I did squeeze out a revision of a professional piece and a poem, but I didn’t write much here or in any of my usual spots but that’s the nice things about August. It’s been waiting for my return and I’m back!
In the middle of all the intensity of our SI, I started packing for a Resource Development Retreat hosted by the National Writing Project’s Technology Initiative held at the Crossings in Austin, Texas. So just we moved into the end of week three at our SI, I left Katelin and the team for two days and weekend in between, and joined a NWP group of old and new friends and pulled out my 17″ Mac Pro to continue a digital project with my collaborator Joseph, director of the U of Maryland Writing Project. I left one intense, wonderful world for another and then returned to New Paltz to end our SI for the last week.
I AM NOT COMPLAINING!
Well actually, I am, because if it’s up to the administration, the N in NWP will disappear. Yes, our rich national network will turn into something state centered. What are they thinking? I’ve been wondering about that for a number of months and writing about my concerns often. For the last 10 years I have enjoyed the rich national and local community of educators and watched others as they joined us.
I shared a screen shot above that crystalizes it all for me. I am back twittering. I experiemented with Twitter a few years ago as an observer. I took away lots of great resources linked in the tweets of innovative educators. But I didn’t really feel a part of a twitter community . But when I was working with new NWP educators in Austin who were twittering in an NWP community, I returned to my Twitter account and tired it on again.
So I am twittering and sharing tweets I find that fill me with the latest evidence to support my concerns about the Race to the Top.It’s all about community for me. I just don’t understand why it’s so hard to make others see the value in keeping the N in NWP!
So Slicers it’s nice to be back with you too, another rich community of educators. 🙂