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?
Thank you #TWTBlog Authors for this series last week, “Assessment Strengthens Writers”. Last night’s Twitter Chat was simply amazing and if you weren’t there, you can check out the storified version here.
The questions that vaulted us into the twittersphere were:
But this morning, I’m stuck on “How do I use assessment to strengthen my own writing?”
And every one of those questions MATTER!
- What assessment tools and strategies do I use?
- How do I deep track of my progress on assessments?
- How do I use on-demand writing to inform my progress?
- How do I collaborate with colleagues on my assessments?
- How do I communicate my growth to myself?
- How do I see my growth in writing over time?
- Where does self-assessment fit into the life of a writing teacher?
Much has been written about the need for writing teachers to write. October 20 was #WhyIWrite.
What has been written about the need for writing teachers to self-assess and to work collaboratively with others in order to grow their own skills? Today this space is dedicated to thinking about how best to continue to “Walk the Talk” and to grow and strengthen my own writing.
If one of my claims is that . . .”My writing improves as my volume of writing grows.”
How will I measure that?
How DO I measure that?
I have some work to do in order to answer these questions.
How will you “Strengthen Your Writing”?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Two blog posts this week caught my eye and lingered in my brain. They were Jessica Lifshitz’s “A Different Kind of PD (AKA Thank You Kate Roberts and Chris Lehman)” linked here and Lisa Saldivar’s “Assigning vs. Teaching” here. Jessica is a 5th grade teacher in Chicago and Lisa is an Elementary ELA Coordinator in Los Angeles.
How do I know Jessica and Lisa? I follow them on Twitter and they participated in online chats last week.
How did I find out about their blogs? The links were both tweeted out on Twitter.
Have I ever met them? No, not YET!
Stop for a second.
What was the content of the last Professional Development session where you left energized, inspired and ready to move forward with implementing the learning?
Energy, enthusiasm and excitement were present in both their posts. The three presenters referenced above, Kate Roberts, Chris Lehman (Falling in Love with Close Reading), and Cornelius Minor, are awe-inspiring and passionate about increasing literacy learning for students without drudgery. They are also FUN to listen to in a PD setting! You can hear Cornelius Minor in a podcast here. If you haven’t yet seen them in person, you need to add them to your “must do” list!
Focus: What is professional learning?
I shared this model back in September because the work of Joyce and Showers is embedded in the thinking and development of this model that has “Student learning – at the center of school improvement and staff development”! (Research-based, YES! and a model of how good things can be!)
You can read more about the model here and also about CCSS.Writing Anchors 1-3 here for content of a two hour PD session with absolutely 0 power point slides but a lot of talk and “studying of texts”. Teachers had the opportunity to read new/revisit familiar texts to deepen their understanding of writing techniques and build a common language, K-5, across argument, informational and narrative texts.
Where can you find joyful and inspiring PD on your own?
There are many quality sources of PD. I encourage you to leisurely explore the following resources until you find one that you cannot live without! Additional details are listed for: blogs, twitter hash tags, twitter book chats, twitter blog chats, scheduled Twitter chats, and face-to-face presentations.
Reading a steady diet of blogs can inform your work. Leaving comments on the blogs can also lead to conversations and even other blogs you might want or need to follow!
Must read literacy blogs include:
- Vicki Vinton’s blog “To Make a Prairie” – Of interest to you might be this specific post “Learning vs Training – The Power of Real Professional Development“
- Melanie Meehan’s blog – one of the two authors of “Two Reflective Teachers” and this post “Exploring a Fabulous Mentor Text”
- Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan’s blog, “Teachers for Teachers”, where they describe themselves as “… staff developers who are still teachers at heart. We believe that effective professional development includes side by side teaching; discussions of current research; analysis of student work; and mutual trust and respect.” A post that may be of interest is “Applying Some ‘Brain Rules’ to Professional Development“
- Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris’s blog, “Burkins & Yaris Think Tank for 21st Century Literacy” and a favorite post, “The Power of Job-Embedded Coaching” that contains additional references to the work of Joyce and Showers
- Two Writing Teachers (and that will also lead you to the amazing blogs written by the SIX authors!)
- and many great teacher blogs like Julieanne’s “To Read, To Write, To Be“; Mary Lee’s “A Year of Reading“; Steve’s “Inside the Dog“; Christina’s “The Teacher Triathlete“; and Taylor’s “The Formative Feedback Project“.
2. Twitter hashtags
Twitter hashtags begin with the “#” sign and can be real or made up. Some hashtags exist for a long time (not saying forever because who REALLY knows what “forever” means in the “TwitterVerse”) or they can be hashtags created for a specific event (and possibly linger after through posts/discussions).
Examples for meetings / conferences:
#NatRRConf – National Reading Recovery Conference
#WSRA15 – Wisconsin Reading Association 2015 Conference
#NCTE14 – National Council of Teachers of English 2014 Conference
Examples of enduring hashtags (may want to have a dedicated column in Tweetdeck or Tweetchums):
#tcrwp – Teachers College Reading and Writing Project
#wonderchat – Wonder Chat
#tlap – Teach Like a Pirate
3. Twitter Book Chats
Twitter Book Chats are on line discussions of books (often with questions posted in advance in a google document) where readers and lurkers meet to answer questions and grow their own knowledge. Powerful twitter book chats often include the authors responding to the questions as well!
#filwclosereading – Falling in Love with Close Reading (book and presentations by @teachkate and @ichrislehman linked above)
#wrrdchat – What Readers Really Do by Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton
#NNNchat – Notice and Note @kylenebeers and @bobprobst
#wildreading – Donalyn Books
#booklove – Penny Kittle
#G2Great – Good to Great @DrMaryHoward
4. Twitter Blog Chats
Twitter Blog Chats are often used to introduce an upcoming series of blog posts or to even wrap up a series of blog posts where the readers can interact with the blog authors.
#TWTBlog – Aim Higher: Outgrow old goals and set new ones with the chat archive here
#T4Tchat – sponsored by Teachers for Teachers with the last chat storified here – Mid-Year Assessments Got You Down?
5. Scheduled Twitter Chats
#tcrwp – Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (Wed. 7:30 pm EST)
#educoach – Educational Coaches (Wed. 9:00 pm CST)
#titletalk – Promote reading and book titles that engage students (Last Sunday of each month from 8-9 pm EST)
#iaedchat – Iowa Educators (Sundays 8 am and 8 pm CST)
Many content areas and grade levels host their own chats – check out this list! (36 chats on the list last night between 5:30 and 10:00 pm!)
6. Face to Face Presentations
Face to Face Presentations are often jazzed up to include a hashtag so participants can follow along or a back channel like “Today’s Meet” where participants can be posting favorite quotes or questions in real time while the session is taking place. Today’s Meet is often used when there are multiple presenters so the non-presenter is monitoring the channel to feed to other partners/panel members or to address /build purposeful connections for all parts of the presentation.
Which of these 6 have you used to find your own joyful and inspiring professional development?
What about your peers? Where do they find joyful and inspiring PD?
(If you didn’t answer these questions in three seconds or less, click on a link above and find something you are interested in . . . NOW!!!)
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to share our work.
in capitals –
stick, stick, stick, space, stick, stick, stick, stick, space, stick, stick
straight lines and angles.
in lower case –
stick, stick, stick, curved, stick, stick, stick
lines, angles and curves.
for visible thinking
Yet for students:
Confidence and purpose.
Encourages goal setting
and a plan to reach goals.
Honors all student processing.
Becomes a way of life –
trajectory of students.
Means not right now,
Know that they won’t
run out of time.
Yet for teachers:
Gives us room
to expand and / or
Adjust our teaching and thinking.
A way to show students
we want to stand by them
and we will help them get there.
Lets students and teachers
grow and learn,
Bets on students and teachers
to do the best that they can, so
All have met the power
of a growth mindset
with multiple materials
and multiple opportunities
“Yet” opens doors that “can’t” wants to close.
What does the word “yet” mean to you?
[Tweets that were used for the creation of this content poem can be found here. Thank you Dorothy Barnhouse and Kylene Beers for your illuminating quotes during our 04.22.14 Twitter book chat (#WRRDchat) discussing What Readers Really Do!]
This is my celebratory 100th post with over 25,000 hits since October of 2012! Thank you, READERS!