Skip to main content

My Writing Tribe

For the third time of my life, I spent a weekend with teacher-writers in Lake Ann, Michigan. It was the much needed reprieve during the longest stretch of the year, the time when it starts to seem like no end is in sight. I'm feeling refreshed, full of ideas, and like I've accomplished so many things on my to-do list. 


 

Like the Nerdy Book Club, these teachers are my tribe. Though we are all from different summer institutes, we are all brought together as teacher consultants for the Eastern Michigan Writing Project. 

 

And trip after trip, I'm reminded that these people get me. 

 

I could wake up at 5:00 AM to read and write and not face judgment. I could share something I've written and only receive positive feedback if it was that early in the writing process. I could suddenly wander off alone and know that they would give me that writerly space. I could sit down in a bookstore and participate in a read aloud of William Shakespeare's Star Wars and laugh and celebrate something so nerdy.  I could share a frustration with my school or classroom, and they would listen and offer advice. I could ask for book recommendations and I know I'd leave with a laundry list. 

 

Though the demands never seem to lessen and the stakes always seem higher, I know that I can turn to these teachers, writers, and friends. And now, I'm counting down the days until the next retreat.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Words

I get to school early and my students know that. This morning, a student that I’m not even particularly close with arrived at 6:00 AM in tears. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what to say to students and colleagues about the presidential election.
This student and I talked about fear. We talked about her history. We talked about how she encouraged her mother to vote for the first time—ever. We talked about how she can’t understand why people would vote for a fear-mongering, hate-talking candidate like Donald Trump. We talked about her experience Monday seeing President Obama for the first time, an experience that she was so motivated to make happen. Toward the end of our conversation, she said that she finally finished Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Not that I’m equating President-Elect Trump to the Dark Lord, but we talked about how even with Voldemort, people supported him. It may have been out of fear and group loyalty, but it was support nonetheless. And whil…

Letter to the Editor Regarding DeVos

***Update:  At the time this letter was read at Monday’s board meeting, the hearing regarding Betsy DeVos’ nomination as the secretary of education was still scheduled for Wednesday, January 11. Later that evening, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions postponed the hearing until January 17 at 5:00 PM.

This is a letter to the editor that I will submit for the January 12 edition of the Belleville-Area Independent
-----
To the Editor:
This week marks a defining moment for public education in the United States. On Wednesday, January 11, a hearing will have taken place regarding Betsy DeVos’ nomination as the secretary of education.
During the past few board meetings, I have expressed my concerns publicly about Mrs. DeVos’ appointment to the top education post, and I reiterate those same concerns here. I have contacted Senator Stabenow and Peter’s offices, and they both have now expressed their concerns regarding this appointment and have vowed to…

On Competition and Donald Trump, Jr.

Listening to Donald Trump, Jr.’s speech makes my blood boil.
There are a few points that need our attention.
1. Competition makes education better.
Browse Diane Ravitch’s blog post about the competition that has run rampant in Detroit Public Schools. She references Donald Cohen’s post, where he debunks the myth about competition increasing student achievement. Cohen concludes the following: “If charter schools were systematically outperforming DPS schools, these lessons would be easier to stomach in Detroit. But the city’s charter schools are rife with wasteful spending, double dipping, and insider dealing, and many have been allowed to operate for years despite terrible academic records.”
And let us not forget the Detroit Free Pressexposé on charter schools. Many do not disclose how they spend public dollars, and the majority underperformed when compared to traditional public schools. Quoting the Free Press, public dollars were misused in ways such as: A Bedford Township charter sc…