Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Valuing Where We Are

 Join in and share a story with Two Writing Teachers Ruth and Stacey.

This slice starts out with a reminder about a book I read recently, Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon. You can read about Ralph here or here.
Ralph got me thinking about a lesson in the book Talking, Drawing, Writing by Mary Ellen Giacobbe and Martha Horn. There is a lesson all about valuing where everyone is as a writer. Some may write letters, some may draw a detailed picture and others may write a story with lots of letters and sounds. I did this lesson with my class last week and then shared samples of what writing was looking like in Ralph's class too.

It was neat to do this lesson and use Ralph's "classmates" as an additional example. (I of course lead them to believe that I had access to this information).




On my way to work today I was having a conversation in my head with a "doubter" of my "way" of teaching writing. Thinking about what I would say? What proof do I have? Why do I need proof? Why do I sometimes feel like the doubters are trying to fear me into "their" way instead of looking closer at "my" way? And it hit me, they aren't there yet. I need to value them where they are. I am in a different place as an educator, on my own journey. So is everyone. I will try to value where they are and continue to build their understanding as I build my own.
I will not be afraid, or defensive, instead I will be me. I will continue to travel on my journey as a teacher of young writers.

Then by chance, I stumbled onto Scholastic's author interviews while researching author David Shannon (our mentor author for the next couple weeks). Norman Bridwell had an interview so I watched. He talked about how sometimes when you do something, not everyone will like it, but believe in yourself anyway. Then he went on to thank teachers. What an affirming message. (There are great videos on the link above. E.B. Lewis is one to watch too. I am full of new inpsiration today).

7 comments:

elsie said...

What an aha! moment you had! The learning curve reaches around and we can all find our place on it. I will be sharing your lesson of how the students are in different places with my kindergarten teachers. Thank you for sharing your thinking and teaching as you give me credibility with kindergarten teachers.

Laura said...

Those conversations in my head often result in "aha" - people don't talk to themselves enough.
Your connection to meeting writers where they are to seeing where we are as teachers is great reminder for all of us to reflect on our practice. We all want to learn and grow.

Anita Ferreri said...

Oh yes - those in the car driving 65 mph thinking moments are the best! Sometimes, I think of songs or poems or minilessons too! There is nothing like some good traffic endomorphins to stimulate thinking and creativity!

Michelle said...

Ah, time to reflect. I guess I doubt my teaching at times too, but I love your realization that we are all on our own journey! It's awesome and powerful when we can come together and have professional conversations that push us to grow and learn together to do what is best for our kids. Keep pushing on and thank you for the reminder that we (educators) are not in the same place, just like our kids, but there is always something of value to learn from each other.

Robin said...

Excellent. This was a great aha moment. I'm glad you shared your connection. It is a good reminder to think of colleagues in the same way as students...we are all in a different place. Keep reminding me of this...

Linda at teacherdance said...

Terrific, thoughtful & right on, Betsy. It seems to me that often teachers are so isolated that they have self doubts because there is no one to talk about what's happening to students, where they are, how they've progressed, etc. Your aha moment seems very good to me. Thanks for sharing!

Christy Rush-Levine said...

Other people have those conversations in their heads too? What a relief! Sometimes I think I am harsher on myself than those "doubters" ever are. Good for you for finding inspiration elsewhere and letting go of the defensiveness. It is easier said than done!