Slice of Life Tuesday: Show time!


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I heard the click of Bonnie’s keyboard, and then there we were: cued up to the projector and ready to present our workshop.  It felt so strange to be up there, in front of the room, with expectant eyes focused on the two of us, as though asking: so, what do you have to share with us? how can you help us on our respective teaching journeys?

Bonnie took the lead, as planned, and began the first half of our presentation: teacher as writer.  The ease of our friendship, and all the work that we had poured into this year long collaboration, made for a wonderfully natural back and forth dialogue between us and our audience.  The teachers in our audience dove right into writing slices of their own, and we learned so much from them when they shared what this writing felt like, and how it might better inform their teaching of writing.

I was slowly finding my way as “presenter”, trying to gauge how much to talk, how much to listen, how much to question.  And then we were in the second half of our session: student as writer.  This segment began with Bonnie’s brilliant video recap of our Slice of Life year.  Pharrell’s “Happy” began to play over the speakers, our theme song, and then there they were – my class from last year.  I wasn’t prepared for the wave of emotion that took over at the sight of those faces. I was almost undone.

What a year we’d had!  So many wonderful memories to hold on to, to celebrate. And yes, I could see those sixth grade faces change from September to June.

When it came time to speak of how we’d built our writing community, I felt the presence of my kids all around me. The memories of our year together were deeply embedded in all I shared with the teachers and teachers-to-be before me.  How lucky I am to be engaged in the work I do!

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20 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Show time!

  1. Tara, it sounds like a wonderful presentation! Those teachers were so lucky to spend time learning from talented and generous teachers like you and Bonnie. Presenting to teachers can be fun and nerve-wracking. (I’m doing it today.) I’m glad it went well!!!

  2. “How lucky I am to be engaged in the work I do.” My thoughts exactly! You are so blessed with teaching talent and sharing it with others helps us grow. Your students wrapped you in the confidence you needed to pass on the gift.

  3. Beautiful reflection as well as the opportunity to share your experiences. I appreciate how your learning came full circle with your presentation with Bonnie. My only wish was that I could have been sitting there listening.

  4. You and Bonnie at the helm…what a powerful presentation it must have been. I am sure that those teachers came away excited with many new ideas to try out in their own classrooms.

  5. Kudos to you! Sounds you like you had a fantastic day. I love hearing the stories that you both share about your Slice of Life collaboration. The pictures from your classrooms rock too. So happy that you will also become a Writing Project fellow this coming summer!

  6. So fun to read of your day with Bonnie. I wish I could have been in the audience. I love that you felt the presence of your students supporting you as you spoke of your journey. Can’t wait to see what you and Bonnie will do for year 2.

  7. I got chills down my spine as you wrote…the children were right there beside me….of course they were. We learn as much from them as they learn from us.

  8. It’s magic to run workshops with another person with whom you match and you can finish each other’s sentences, fill in the pauses, and anticipate changes just by a blink of an eye. Lucky teachers to have you and Bonnie leading them.

  9. Hi, Tara. It sounds like your presentation with Bonnie went well. I always find children to be a much easier audience than adults — you know in an instant whether or not they’re enjoying your talk!

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