What is my voice?
Am I the calm in the midst of the noise that flows and ebbs, varying in intensity as measured by decibels and heated emotions? When needed, I am a place of refuge so you can rally and move on.
Am I the voice of encouragement? Go ahead take a risk. I will stand with you shoulder-to-shoulder because I know that you are an amazing source of strength. When needed, I will coach you through the work.
Am I the voice of an advocate for those who don’t yet have a voice? Those who are too young, too weary, or too worn-down-by-daily-trials. When needed, I will help you name the faces that are behind your work.
Am I the voice of reflection? What have you tried? What worked? What didn’t work? What do you see as your next step? When needed, I will serve as your mirror?
Am I the voice of radical change? Is it time to chart a brand new course? Strike out in a different direction? Try something brand new? Take a leap of faith? When needed, I will help you brainstorm many possibilities.
Am I the voice of maintaining the status quo? Continuing on the current course? Knowing that it is not effective but not yet ready to abandon it?
Definitely not that indecisive! Maintaining the status quo has seldom been my focus!
So what’s it all about?
What is voice?
I was shocked, dismayed and flat-out discombobulated when I googled, “What is voice?” and the first page of responses was about finding my range or my singing voice. What’s up with that? Of course, I didn’t specifically say my writing voice or my speaking voice in my Google query. I was interested in the broad strokes. What will “THE Google” say? (But “voice” is one of the 6+1 Traits of writing!) So this is now my stunned, a bit shocked, and quite skeptical voice continuing on . . .
A continued search (or rabbit hole) led to the source of “voice” from the Latin word vocare which means “to call, or invoke”. So to call or, using some of the verbs above
“express … declare, state, assert…proclaim, announce, publish…vent, utter …”
So many ways to use my voice. But my exploration was not yet over. The source of “vocation” is also vocare. In the midst of our work our voice is often called out because it is the underlying WHY of our passion. When our passion is teaching, it is what we “are called to do”.
Does “voice” matter?
More and more teachers are expressing that they have little or no voice in what is taught in their classroom. Content is dictated by a combination of curricula, standards, pacing guides, assessments and/or textbooks. All of those are part of the WHAT that is current reality across the country.
But . . .
If I am a voice
of radical change . . .
And I am a reader, writer, and a thinker who believes in literacy for all,
The highest possible quality for all,
How do I use my voice to speak up on behalf of students and teachers?
How do you use your voice?
Which voices do you use?
What is your major role?
Does your “day role” ever create conflict over your voice during the “rest of your day”? How does that affect your voice?
I can’t get these two pictures out of my mind. They came from a MS presentation at #TCRWP Saturday Reunion.
How do these expectations offer VOICE and CHOICE to students?
How do these expectations help promote student independence?
Who is doing the work?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.