The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers .
So, confession #1: I am a Twitter chat lurker.
And, confession #2: I lurked last evening at an amazing Twitter chat – one that I really, really meant to be present and accounted for:
Everyone, it seemed, was on and tweeting amazing things, inspirational things, I- need- to -do -this- right- now kind of things. People like Penny Kittle, Christopher Lehman, Kate Roberts, and, of course, Meenoo Rami. But I lurked…on account of the fact that these things move much too fast for my aging brain. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything. Or that I finished lurking and finished thinking.
Here were some of the gems that I “favorited”:
- Marianne was brave – she shared her stories about where she had succeeded and where she had failed , and what she’d learned from these experiences. She taught me to think about my “mistakes” as learning opportunities; to step back, remove my emotions, and analyze why things had gone awry so that I could learn from the experiences – not repeat them. And she opened up her own teaching life to share her mistakes. She modeled the process to this kind of honesty for me.
- Marianne praised effective innovation – she encouraged me to take risks, but guided me. She made me think of being intentional in innovation – try new things, but don’t forget the learning you are really hoping to nurture in your kids.
- Marianne provided guidance and support but she insisted that I must make the decision to thrive. I must read, attend workshops, seek out best practices, create a professional life that was fulfilling and enriching. I must be pro active.
- Marianne insisted that the work we did mattered. Every time we met, she validated all the hard work I was putting into my teaching life because I could be the difference between students who love reading and writing and who don’t.
- And Marianne also stressed that it was important to help other teachers out, not just take but give as well. Her message was always – if you find a great mentor text, PD event, poem, or lesson… share it with your colleagues. Teach with an open door.