Professional Learning: My Right and My Responsibility
#NCTE has fueled my learning for the last five years. I found folks that stirred my learning heart and soul. Hearing those words straight from the authors who wrote them was transformational. Their passion and excitement extends long past a panel, a roundtable, or a presentation.
And yes, it comes with a cost. The cost of attending a national conference. #NCTE asks attendees about the source of the expenses in their conference surveys. The likelihood of a school paying for every expense incurred may make the cost prohibitive but there are many of us who attend on a regular basis (five consecutive years) who are quite “picky” about our sessions because we are there for the learning and attend on our own dime..
After hearing Tom Newkirk at my first #NCTE conference loudly proclaim that a hamburger graphic organizer was an insult not only to a paragraph but a bigger insult to a hamburger, I have read his books, been in a twitter chat with him, and watched for authors that mention his name. He is Ellin Keene’s editor and Ellin has so many words of praise for him. This year at #NCTE it was truly a pleasure to listen to: 4 Battles Literacy Educators have to Fight
- Economy – Curriculum as Hoarding (add, add , add & nothing is deleted)
- Louise Rosenblatt – Model of Reading – Literacy as Transaction
- The battle for writing. Writing should not be colonized by reading. 795,000 fanfiction pieces about Harry Potter
- Battle for choice- Carnegie – “public library” Teachers will need to make it free!
Since returning home, I have reread his essay in this collection.
I have also read these two books since #NCTE18.
And I am returning to some sections of these two books for more work with Responsive Teaching because I know that teachers have to “say less so readers can do more”!
I now have some reading and writing plans to consider that involve my own thinking and application. Some will appear in my own professional development, some may show up in this blog, and much will continue in future conversations with friends as well as Twitter thinking.
For those who did attend #NCTE18, how will you extend your learning?
Here are some possibilities:
- Read a book by an author you heard.
- Listen to a podcast by an author you heard.
- Participate in a Twitter chat by an author you heard.
- Write a blog post or two about your learning.
An investment of time is required for any of the four items listed. You can borrow the book on interlibrary loan at no cost or check and see if a friend has it in their professional library. Check online. A free chapter may be available on the publisher’s website. Additional follow up ideas may come from the publisher’s website or a facebook page for the “group”.
So if attending a national conference is “on your list”, start planning now. How can you begin “saving” for that dream?
- Read the twitter stream from #NCTE18.
- Read some blogs from #NCTE18.
- Plan for a roommate NOW.
- Make a plan to re-allocate some personal discretionary funds so you can attend.
Where will you begin?
What is your plan?
A second look at a Saturday session because I’m still trying to define “Responsive Teaching” and I saw it masterfully executed in this session. And I am still in awe. And so thankful that these readers, writers, and educators are in my life.
|Responsive Teaching: The Courage to Follow the Children
Presenters: Kim Yaris, Jan Miller Burkins, Dani Burtsfield, Christina Nosek, and Kari Yates
Jan began with having us close our eyes to “Think about a teacher who loved you into being” and then having us share that story with a partner. It’s often easy to remember those who did NOT love you into being but responsiveness begins with the heart . . . Don’t rush to “check it off.” Skill and expertise has to come behind.
What’s the focus if you view student work through the lens of “Love”?
What’s the focus if you view student work through the lens of “Expertise”?
This was the student work we viewed.
Not just judging and reacting, but thinking in terms of what the student “can do”!
- Phonological awareness
- Most of the alphabet and how to write it
- Knows how words work
- Knows onset
- Knows rime
- Knows rhyme
- Understands what is socially appropriate communication!
Kim also read “Daisy” from Who’s Doing the Work and we considered what we knew about Daisy as a person and as a reader. It was extremely helpful to have a partner to add more ideas. (My immediate thought that went into my notes: And what if PLCs operated more with this type of data?)
|Being responsive is about seeing students, understanding and responding based on the love and expertise of the teacher.|
Students doing the work. Teachers stepping back and admiring student work first before responding.
To Know and Nurture a Reader
Conferring is a path to responsive teaching, raising and following the voice of one student at a time.
Using Four Quadrants – so visually appealing and helpful . . .
There are many questions that fit into each of those boxes and those are available in Christina’s and Kari’s book.
If a conference begins with:
What’s going on?
What is my response? It may vary . . .
“I wonder, I jot a note or
I wonder, I affirm, I jot a note or
I wonder, I affirm, I remind, I jot a note or
I wonder, affirm, extend, remind, take note”
And then those basic responses in a visual format. . .
What if they are coded by thought bubbles for “wonderings” or talk bubbles for “affirmations” and boxes for the notes/glueing reminders?
This format could be my conferencing format.
I might have 4 of these boxes on a page.
Depending on our conference content, a box might hold different colored ink entrees or dates as I record the content from the conference in this format.
Thinking about the application of THIS work. How does it make sense?
And what a treat. Dani had examples of work in all four quadrants for a kindergarten student. Here’s an example of one kindergarten student’s “Healthy Habits” . . .
As I listened to Dani’s examples from a kindergarten level, I thought of Christina’s fifth graders. I wondered if they could complete a reflection about themselves as a reader. Christina said, “Just wait” and then she shared a fifth grade student page from which I am only sharing the book choice portion.
Have teachers done this work?
Where do teachers stand in these four quadrants?
How aware are they?
How would this move teacher confidence and competence in coaching readers forward?
My Take Aways:
- Responsive teaching – you will know it when you see it. It’s hard to describe but pure magic when you see it in action. Today: Being responsive is about seeing students, understanding and responding based on the love and expertise of the teacher. Conferring is a path to responsive teaching, raising and following the voice of one student at a time.
- “Step back so your students can step forward.” Jan and Kim
- “Don’t wait for perfection. Start now.” Christina and Kari
Jan Burkins: @janmillburk Kim Yaris: @kimyaris
Twitter @ChristinaNosek @kari_yates