Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pack-Rat, Mad-Man, CWP-Director, Writer, Reader, or All The Above #ConnectedLearning

I have three weeks before July arrives and my life takes off in a summer of Making with the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield. We are hosting one teacher institute, 7 writing labs for youth, and an Ubuntu Academy - it feels as if I am the headmaster at a school (but I'm teaching, too).

A colleague poked fun of me for the way I keep my office (books, toys, writing paraphernalia, games, etc.) and I had to laugh, "She is right."

I did spend hours this week trying to organize all the materials (and there is a lot). My office looks like a combination of library, Kay Bee Toys and Hobby, and data closet. There's a lot going on and in my head it is all making sense.

Still, I need time to process all this work and what we're learning about working with K-12 students in Connecticut to fulfill a students feedback from last year, "CWP-Fairfield is what school wishes it could be, but can't." I took her words to mean that the testing empire (with its stress on students and teachers), has kept classrooms from becoming the creative environments they're meant to be.

That is why we do what we can during the summer, trying our best to counter the anti-imagination regime currently underscoring America's classrooms: novel writing, graphic novels, spoken word poetry, digital stories, journalism, college essays. We have something for everyone and we've spent the last few months recruiting the best presenters and facilitators for every workshop.

In the meantime, I'm preparing for the teachers who are at the heart of the work we do. 15 stellar educators from across Connecticut (and even Tanzania).

I need to rest up for all the excitement and potential. I'm excited for it.

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