Today was the first day of our Teachers College Reading and Writing Project August Institute on the Teaching of Reading. To say that you learn a thing or two while you are here would be the understatement of the century.
As I look back on the day I’m struck by several themes. First, in the keynote there was a very sincere mention of community and the connections between people. As I looked to my right I saw my community: our admin team members that left their families for the week to join their work family in learning. I appreciated that Lucy mentioned that fact…that we leave what we know and what we love to embrace a new and evolving community for a week…and that this can be tough (I look forward to my family Facetime every night). I think about those connections, big and small that come from an experience like this and am immediately grateful for the opportunity, but at the same time hopeful that more can experience this. I wish there was a way to bring every educator we know with us. I’ll put that on the list.
I met with administrators and curriculum leaders from all over the United States in the afternoon. We talked about all the challenges and celebrations that come along with the work. Where to start, how to support our educators, our students and our families. We had more questions than answers today but is was a good start. Afterall, we still have four days…that’s plenty of time to figure it all out.
Then I returned to my second grade teacher roots with a refresher on the art of running records. When I was a second grade teacher we were required to get certified in the DRA administration every year. You went to a windowless conference room in a hotel lobby and spent a day practicing running records before you took a test to make sure you were capable of doing it with reliable outcomes. At the time…wasn’t my favorite, but @lindsayabarton reminded me of the good that comes with informal running records. Just the chance to really look at a student’s mind and see if you can untangle the puzzles and mysteries there. It was a great reminder and very pertinent to the work ahead in our district.
Oh…and I had an amazing burger. Great day.