#SOL19: Day 18 SOLSC

“Oh, you were going down,” the maid commented. She pushed the button for a higher floor.

I remained silent.  “Should I use my typical Iowa spiel? ‘Well, I live in a town that doesn’t have any buildings taller than two stories.'”

Nah. Silence. No excuse. Too early!

The elevator dinged to announce its arrival. I moved to the elevator bank that was lit. I didn’t remember if it was a



W                                               P  arrow.

N  arrow or an       U

Simply too late to matter.

By the time all my thinking was done, the elevator was going down, down to my destination. Trivia. Let it go!

Tell Your Story . . .

Shanna Schwartz is a master storyteller and she delivered a powerful keynote when she used stories to offer tips to help teachers, coaches, and administrators in Cowin Auditorium understand what will make TEACHING STICK.

Old School . . .

Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 3.52.04 PM

I noted and appreciated the delivery of the keynote. . .  Stories, a  document camera, and anchor charts created in front of us.  No powerpoint, google slides or Prezi.  These were the presentations I remember from the first sessions I attended at #TCRWP Institutes. (Lucy Calkins also addresses the atmosphere and delivery of mini-lessons in Leading Well.)

Three memorable quotes . . .


Children like all humans do not just learn things whole and then do it perfectly. They do it partially, making approximations, and gradually showing more learning.” (Shanna B Schwartz, 3.16.19. TCRWP) (Check out her book for the exact wording.)


“Have to be planned enough so I can watch students, to know what to do, and be flexible enough to change to meet kids needs!” (Shanna B Schwartz, 3.16.19. TCRWP)


“Sometimes teaching feels like a performance. Teaching should be a relationship, a warmth, and closeness that you are building together.” (Shanna B Schwartz, 3.16.19. TCRWP)

Timeless . . .

One of Two Keynotes at the #TCRWP 96th Saturday Reunion was “Making Your Teaching Stick” by Shanna Schwartz.

Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 3.53.45 PM.png

Shanna referred to this book (as did Sarah Picard Taylor in her introduction of Shanna) that she wrote 11 years ago as a base for her keynote.  It might be a quick book to pull out and review with your staff. Every single book from the Help Desk series has tips worth revisiting and the price is right.

So when something isn’t right in life, do you choose silence as I did on the elevator or do you study the situation in order to figure out alternatives?  If it’s a short interval, time may solve the issue.  But what if it isn’t?  Then what do you choose to do?  What is your default?  Your knowledge? Your skill set? What stories do you lean on?

What are the principles that you hold onto dearly? 

How do you deliver your instruction (and your PD)?

What are the areas you continually return to for problem solving because they don’t seem “to stick”?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily March forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

9 responses

  1. As always, Fran, so much to think about here! I will come back later today to explore and really ponder the quotes and questions. I do not have this book by Shanna Schwartz, so I will order it! Thank you, Fran.

    1. Thanks, Lynne.
      Marvels of architecture to be in buildings with more than 30 floors. Definitely LAYERS of meaning!!! ❤

  2. Well done! You had to get on the elevator … it could be an hour before the next one. At least you were on! I love the quotes you picked.

    1. Thanks, Clare. HA! There were more floors below than above so I did think that I at least would be on “first” going down! And I loved stealing your idea of a “mini” slice before the meat of the day’s message! Thank YOU!!!

  3. You are so good at making connections between little things (the elevator) and major things like what do you do when…
    On the elevator, I would have remained silent because “What’s the point?”
    I guess I would rely on my skill set to try to figure out a path, but if my skill set doesn’t spread that far, I rely on help from others.
    Always, your posts give me things to think about.

    1. Diane,
      I’m still a “work in progress” . . . and I’m so glad that you are thinking. That’s always my goal!!

  4. Love the quotes you chose, Fran. I do not learn things the first time I try so why do we as teachers expect out students to grasp things on their first exposure to them? Not all kids need the same kind of instruction so we need to be flexible to meet the needs of our students. Teaching and learning happens because of a bond between student and teacher.

  5. I love that last quote (“teaching”). It is so true. If on the elevator, I would have remained silent (that’s just who I am), but in some situations, I can’t remain silent (it’s more of who I am). Thanks for thoughtful post and the book suggestion!

  6. As others have mentioned, the quotes that you chose to share are so powerful, particularly the final quote. You have given me a lot to think about this evening. Thank you.

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