I’m in beautiful Wisconsin today working with Stephanie Harvey and Kristin Ziemke on some staff development. I have to say, I’ve gone to a lot of conferences and I’ve presented at a few but this is kind of fun. Teachers are the same everywhere you go. We want simple things. We want time to talk to each other and we want to learn. That’s the secret, all teachers really do want to learn. Some of them have forgotten that they like to learn, some teachers don’t want to admit that they want to learn, but all teachers want to learn.
I’m sure that not every teacher in the room today buys what we’re saying. That’s ok. The truth is I live and breath teaching. I have seen these strategies make a drastic difference in the achievement of my students. You can’t argue with the facts. That’s not to say that my way is the only way. Let’s be honest. I change and evolve every year I teach. What seems like best practice now might not seem that way in a few years. New research is helping us to understand students ability to learn more and more.
The real magic is the time and ability to work together and grow together. I’ll be working with two schools during the course of the year. It is my hope that somewhere along the line I’m able to share something that is useful to these teachers. It is my hope that they see the value in the types of balanced literacy and comprehension instruction that I am demonstrating. But the most important thing I can leave them with is the knowledge and ability to get together, learn together and grow their teaching practice in a way that makes sense to them and works for their students.