This week’s posts are dedicated to summing up my experiences at All Write 2012.
The All Write Conference opened with a profound keynote from Ruth Ayes. Google led me to Ruth years ago through the blog Two Writing Teachers that she co-created with Stacey Shubitz. It was through their blog that I learned about this little gem of a conference. She and Stacey also co-wrote Day by Day: Refining Writing Workshop Through 180 Days of Reflective Practice.
Ruth craftily connected with the deflated feeling of many in her audience through her keynote titled, “Mandates Standards and Evaluation: Can Teachers Still Change the World?” She defined story as being interwoven with narrative, informative and opinion. She reminded us that story allows us to change the world, that our nation was built on story, and that living our story may be one of the most important things we do. In this time when teachers are being pummeled by irrational policies and opinions, she inspired us to hold onto what is most important, find the joy in teaching and in learning, and advocate for our students. I will do my best to remember her message that though our job has undesirable nonnegotiables, it is how we approach the nonnegotiables or mandates that will make the difference. It is all about attitude. I hope to remember Ruth’s passion when my attitude starts to falter.