This concludes a series of posts dedicated to summing up my experiences at All Write 2012. If this is your first time here, it would probably make more sense to scroll down ten posts to the beginning and work your way back to the top.
In the closing keynote for the conference, Holding on Tight to What is Common to Our Core, Katie Wood Ray pointed out that we may not always control what we teach but we will always own how we teach. Even in times like these we can continue to lift and support, but not direct. She believes that “the nationalization of curriculum will not negate the beautiful truth of individual children.” I feel that these two days, including this inspiring end from Katie Wood Ray, has left me with the mindset to remember what’s best for kids is common to my core. Couple this with a four week institute surrounded by the most dedicated and passionate teachers in the area– my teacher soul is well nourished. My summer is yet to start, but I feel refreshed and energized for a new school year.
By now you have, no doubt, solved the mystery of why I never took a seat in the back row. I am filled with hope to learn that there are schools that still support this high level of professional development. I want to take this level of collaboration back to East Central Illinois and advocate for pooled resources which could allow for a similar experience for my colleagues who are cautious about donating their own time and money. But Mindy Hoffar and the staff who operate the All Write!!! Consortium have even more to offer than this conference. They are bringing Stephanie Harvey to the area this fall and are already planning next summer’s institute. If you haven’t checked out their site, they have some resources worth looking into. This includes units on personal narrative and informational writing (how to and all about) for K-2, as well as resources for other grades. (Some generous teachers also shared Warsaw School Corporation’s Guided Reading resources. You might want to check them out.) I look forward to all that this responsive community offers, including next year’s institute. It would be more fun if I didn’t have to go by myself. Why don’t you join me?