I just got off the phone with my friend who is taking our local Writing Project's Summer Institute. Like everyone I know, myself included, she was hesitant to give up five weeks of her summer, but we just spent thirty minutes talking about how awesome it is. "I can honestly say that there hasn't been one minute that I felt was a waste of my time," she told me. That's pretty amazing when you're talking about two weeks of four 6-7 hour days of professional development with three more weeks to go, but I was right there with her. "Are you jealous?" she teased me.
"Yep," I answered. We talked a little bit about the WP Continuation PLC that I'm supposed to facilitate next year and what it might look like. "Where does personal writing for the teachers fit in?" I wondered.
"I think it's crucial," she said. "They have to write outside and bring it in. You don't understand it until you've done it, but the writing is key to building community." Then she told me the most surprising thing of all... this teacher is pretty well-known and admired for her creative projects and unit plans. "I'm done with projects," she said. "From now on, there's going to be a lot more writing in my class, and it's going to be authentic writing. I don't care what it looks like; I just want to see what my kids have to say."
Wow. That's what I have to say.