Friday, October 17, 2014

Pushing Toward the 30th Year, An Anniversary for @CWPFairfield and its affiliation with @writingproject

Bryan's first draft.
Neither Ellen nor myself have been trained as graphic designers. Okay, Ellen does have expertise in this area in ways that I can never imagine for myself (she's a visual perfectionist after all who will be mortified that I posted this sketch here). Still, I'm visual and knowing that Monday is the 20th and The National Day On Writing I thought it would be a great day to announce CWP-Fairfield's 30th anniversary kickoff. Next year's summer institute will represent three decades of providing professional development to Connecticut literacy leaders.

I told Ellen that I've had this vision of a man climbing out of the box in celebration of 30 years, especially at a time when 'out of the box' thinking is so necessary in K-12 teaching (even as it is discouraged). She didn't quite get what I was saying so I sat in my office and began to sketch this out in a makeshift form that shows my lack of visual design training (the left is what I came up with).

CWP-Fairfield needs a milestone graphic to celebrate the 30th institute for educational leaders and a way to say, "Yup, we've lost major funding from our federal government, but we are here, we're strong, and we are still doing what we believe in - teaching writing in K-12 schools while using effective practices that work."

I continue to believe in the power of teachers, teacher leaders, and teacher educators to make sound decisions that will prepare youth up and beyond the rhetoric surrounding our schools. In my old age, I'm beginning to stand my ground: corporations and government should guide out schools but keep their money-making greed away from them. They can sponsor programs that work - such as the National Writing Project - but they should look elsewhere to fill their pockets and egos.

Teachers need the freedom to provide instruction that reaches kids and that benefits them. They need autonomy, trust, and professional development that enhances their practice (and does not stifle it). They need to be treated as the professionals they are.

It's Friday. There are TGIF's being sung all over the world. I, too, am singing, but I am looking forward to all the 'bringing' that is still yet to come.

I am thinking ahead to the next 30 years.

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