Saturday, January 9, 2016

Laurie's Mid-Year Pause for the Cause

1. Looking Back
The brightest spots so far have been seeing student growth.  In our DCF group, Lydia's writing is growing by leaps and bounds; Adrienne is overcoming any qualms and becoming a thoughtful interviewer.  In my work at Hunt M.S., the videos students created about social problems using poetry were thoughtful and a good start to working with iMovie. My brightest spot from that work was a video created the weekend after the Paris attacks by one of my students.  In it she tells her audience how important it is not to view Muslims with bigotry and hatred. As a young Muslim woman in Vermont,she had this opportunity because of WtS.  Going forward I wonder about communication and collaboration inefficiencies with our DCF group.  As to the work I am doing at Hunt, I wonder about pulling off the next part - creating videos about social problems with a small number of students.

2. Upcoming Overnight
The agenda looks full of great opportunities for our students.  Some wonders:
I wonder how we could more directly discuss consistent, effective communication among the students and specific ways to foster this.
I wonder what needs to be done in preparation for the overnight so students will have a clear idea of the work the guest speakers do and how their work and advice can benefit our students.

3. Message to Future WtS? Colleagues
Being part of the WtS team is a privilege, a responsibility and a catalyst.  The teachers I work with on this project are dedicated equally to their students and to their own professional development.  It is wonderful and challenging to work with them.  Additionally, this work requires commitment and time through working with students, attending overnights and responding to student writing.  Finally, being part of WtS has forced me to change and improve my practice in my own school to meet my goals for this project. 
WtS has broadened my horizons.  I am part of something bigger than my own school and my own district. Being part of this group has made me more comfortable in stretching myself in my own classroom. I am both more challenged and more confident because I am involved in WtS - this is exactly what an educational opportunity should give.

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