Monday, August 15, 2016

What's Right and What's Easy

I'm spending the week at a writing workshop workshop put on by the Teacher's College folks. It's a nice refresher of the structure I strongly believe to be the most effective for teaching kids to write. Unfortunately, teachers today are bombarded with so many competing initiatives and requirements that a visitor to my classroom last year might have had a tough time recognizing any such thing.

Ten years ago, when I applied to the summer institute of my local writing project I wrote about the slippery slope that my career had skidded down when it came to the workshop approach. Those five weeks reaffirmed my commitment to student-centered instruction with choice, daily writing time, and a classroom set-up that supported the work, and my instruction changed radically (for the better) as a result. I was much happier teaching and my students were a lot happier, too.

But oh! that slope and ah! that slip. Now I find myself in the same situation with the anti-workshop structures even more firmly entrenched and only a week to break that hold.

Will it happen?

Stay tuned!

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