Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Day of Re-Orienting Myself for a Summer of Making @CWPFairfield @FairfieldU @Writingproject #clmooc

Yesterday began with the 9 a.m. booming of Pharrell's Happy as I sat at my desk itemizing what needed to be done first: 15 teachers arrive next week for the Invitational Summer Institute at Fairfield University, 70+ 3rd-12th graders arrive for Young Adult Literacy Labs, and I needed to trade in my car. The music and freshness of freshmyn arriving for orientation got me pumped that another season of learning and making is upon my role at CWP-Fairfield.

I heard Father Von Arx welcoming the parents and kids and my administrative assistant, Ellen, and I decided it was a perfect time to unpack all the goods we ordered for the work ahead: scissors, crayons, markers, cloth, toys, notebooks, binders, glue sticks, colored pencils, press badges, stickers, pens, pencils, hole punchers, and bubblegum.

We are set to make - we just need our crews to arrive to begin making with them.

I will forever be a fan of the National Writing Project because unlike traditional models of professional development, we entrust teachers to share what they know and challenge them to make a difference in the schools where they teach. Rather than 'accept' - we encourage them to 'produce.' Unlike most workshops and afternoon PD that arrives, our task is to believe in the expertise of teachers and help them to imagine the impossible. This was written by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl yesterday on the first 40 for 40 blog:
What we did was simple. We endowed each other with sense and authority and the expectation that teaching had an authentic intellectual life that, of course, each of us as professionals would participate in. We pulled brilliance from each other by listening to each other with the expectation that brilliance was there. We became fascinated with teaching by approaching it with the assumption that it was, in fact, fascinating. What if we approached our classrooms, our colleagues, our students that way?
My experience as a fellow (and now a Director) has been much the same. What is possible when we allow others to see the fascinating possibilities within our profession? That depends, of course, on what we choose to make alone, and together, with our students.

We've made a lot of progress with what we envision for teachers, schools, and youth in southern Connecticut and it begins with this year's slogan, "Say What You Want to Say."

We are thrilled to partner with CT Mirror this summer and proud of the sponsorship we've received for Ubuntu Academy - a summer lab for relocated refugee youth and recent immigrants in Bridgeport.

Now all we can do is breathe in and breathe out and let the brilliance of those who attend shine with what they were brought to this earth to do.

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