Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Shoot Your Cuff #sol15

So, a funny thing happened on my way home from work yesterday. I received a call from an associate professor from my alma mater. I haven't been in touch with my alma mater in over twenty years--and I have never met professor Dr. Joseph Haviland.

Dr. Haviland has been looking for a teacher who uses the writer's workshop method in class. A colleague of his suggested reaching out to me. I know his colleague, Jolene Borgese, through her teaching, writing, and work with the National Writing Project.

At the end of the month, I will lead a group of our future teachers in what writing workshop looks like in my class.

It is an honor to be asked to speak, quite frankly, especially since of three major shifts in my ethos has been finding opportunities to listen.

This opportunity would have never--never--occurred for me had I not started putting myself out there about six or seven years ago. Becoming active in professional organizations, attending workshops and conferences,  making the time to go through the process of becoming a member of the National Writing Project (PAWLP), writing, reading, and reflecting--all things I did not do much of during my first decade of teaching.

All of these changes are connected to listening--or come back to listening. Really listening to the evidence, the research, and other teachers who are engaged with the evidence and the research.

I realized that cocooning myself--in my classroom, in my building, in my district--was not healthy.

I want to invite colleagues to shoot your cuff at Temple University--to join me--to model collegiality, to encourage growth, and to encourage and support one another as we find their own ways of breaking out of the cocoon.

from A Dictionary of Victorian Slang (1909)
shoot your cuff (Peoples' 1875). Make the best personal appearance you can and come along--from the habit of wearing wide cuffs.

No comments:

Post a Comment