Saturday, November 17, 2007

NYC Muse

At a district training last week a teacher had a very specific, heart-felt question about implementing the first book in Lucy Calkins' Units of Writing series. There was a little bit of discussion following her question, but as I was flying to NYC I thought of a few more helpful responses. I realized how interesting and useful and exciting it would be to have a blog devoted to supporting the growth of SLC teachers. At that same meeting our district literacy coach compiled an anonymous list, from a previous meeting, of all the teachers' written responses to an end-of-meeting reflection sheet. These responses indicated a well of desire to learn and reach students through a workshop model of writing instruction. But this list also contained a lot of trepidation, reluctance, and fear.

I don't really know if this particular blog space will grow into a location where SLC teachers can share book recommendations, writing triumphs, etc. etc. But give me a few months, it might, it really might. Like I wrote down in my notes from one of the great conference sessions this weekend, you can only create what you can imagine. Here's what I imagine: SLC teachers and coaches as a community of writers and professionals similar to the beautiful and powerful flock in NYC at Teachers College. It could happen! Instead of yearning to be part of such a community, maybe I can help create one in the city (and for the children) I love most.


Anne said...


I think it is so funny that people outside of NYC love Teacher's College so much. Here in the city most of us hate TC's programs, and those teachers I know who went to TC feel that it was a waste of money.

I am not sure why, but Lucy Caulkins doesn't work for most of the teachers I know. Maybe it is because I know mostly first and second year teachers who work with kids who have a lot of behavior issues, and the schools they work in don't have strong, enforced discipline procedures. A lot of us struggle with teaching decoding skills and most of the written work I get is almost unintelligible. I have to do a lot of guessing to get any kind of meaning out of a lot of student writing.

I can tell Lucy Caulkins is working for you. I just wonder what the disconnect is.

I am glad you enjoyed the conference. I wish I could have gone, but I was at another conference of sorts.


TRMite said...

your blog idea is good but I do believe it shouldn't be this blog. it will feel like a community space , instead of inviting folks into your space.

AMY S. said...

lisa- i totally agree--this will always be "my" space. I don't know if I'm up for taking on the extra effort it would take to create a more community-ish space. i'm not sure how many folks would really do anything but lurk.

Mary Lee said...

Sometimes you SEE the change, and sometime you have to BE the change!

Great to meet you at NCTE! And I'm proud of you for walking up and introducing yourself!

AMY S. said...

Ann-one thing i think that some administrators do to wreck Lucy Calkin's work is turn it into rigid dogma. they use it as a stick to beat teachers with, rather than a menu of helpful ideas....

Mary-it was great to meet you, also. What a small world is created by the marvels of the internet.