In my efforts to develop more formal habits of a teacher-researcher, I have been joining die-hard UIWPers in reading Hubbard and Power’s The Art of Classroom Inquiry. It was proposed that each of us would frame a research question, collect data, and report the findings. We met to discuss where we were in the process two week’s ago. I shared a reflection I had written at November’s meeting, being no further along in my project. It reads as follows…
I thought and thought again about how I was going to weasel my way out of this one. My previous commitment to bring snack wasn’t the only reason why I returned. I know I am in a *safe* place, with a group who will accept where I am in the process– even if what means I am no further than I was when I walked out the door in October. I didn’t start my teaching journal like I was excited to do. It was overruled by other “must do”s. As I read the assigned Chapter 3 (just last night), the most profound learning was holding the time to do this as sacred.
Yes, there I sat after three more months. I was no further along in the process. I had generated 11 possible questions (some of them serious possibilities). I just couldn’t commit to one that I felt would be the most meaningful to pursue. It wasn’t until after our February meeting that I discovered why.
While I shared my lack of progress, two teacher-researchers and writers extraordinaire shared their thoughtful framework and plans for their research. Both have something that I’ve heard (and taught my second graders) was important. I just didn’t realize how important until I discovered that I don’t have it: an audience. My peers have an avenue for sharing what they discover. I do not.
I have been open to sharing my experiences as a writer with my students. Upon sharing my dilemma with my students, I never thought that they would offer a solution. Having communicated with Mr. Stone during their study of research, they bought into the hook that he would write about his research for other Science teachers. I tossed out a couple of audience ideas that didn’t excite me too much. They understood that I wasn’t ready for the step of writing for a teacher magazine/journal. An immediate light went off for many in the group. “Why can’t we be your audience?” they asked. My students have been a captured audience for my writing for years, but they’ve never asked to be my audience.
Can I use this invitation to get me thinking forward?