Who takes time from our busy lives to gather together and learn on a Saturday? Teachers – that’s who. It is always such an honor to be around professionals who want to learn and grow together, and I thank everyone at the conference for making me feel so welcome. I am thrilled that I made it in between storms in both Colorado and Pennsylvania!
Nancy Coco, the director of the Lehigh Valley Writing Project, started off the day by reminding us that the act of writing is actually a mystery. We don’t quite know how it all comes together. I so agree – which is why it is so worthy of our time! Sometimes, our writing just seems to “work,” while other times, we can barely make sense of what we put on the page.
The same is true of the teaching of writing: sometimes, mysteriously, it works well and we know just what to say during our mini-lessons and conferences. Sometimes, our students are ready to write and they are self-directed. On other days, it is hard to know what to say, and what to write, and we are all stuck. But again, that is just part of writing and part of teaching. It is indeed a mystery, and Nancy’s introduction helped all of us in the room to remember that.
If you have never had the opportunity to be involved with a National Writing Project site, go to:
and find a site near you. Summer Institute opportunities for teachers all around the country are posted now. I value my own experiences as a writer and teacher of writing at the Summer Institute more than any other staff development/writing opportunity I have had.
Teachers learn best from each other. Practitioners who seek constantly to become better are the mentors we need to become stronger teachers. When I presented at the conference, there were veteran teachers and early career teachers, student teachers and those recently retired. But we were all there to learn and grow – thanks, Nancy, for making this day possible and for energizing us all as teachers and writers!