Posted by blk1 on 4th May 2008
What a wonderful weekend, even without the sun and I want to capture just a bit of it while it’s so fresh.
For this coming SI our leadership team is a wonderful mixture and the familiar and the fresh. Mary is back facilitating with me and Tom, will be moving in and out as he moves into a new home and supports our new advanced institute
I was hesitant about this formation at first worried about planning, scheduling the three of us to find enough time. To make it work I was usually forced to be a “virtual” member at meetings. I think our trio of the past, took some getting used to for all of us. But it seems to be flowing now.
As for the energy of Steve and Katelin, Marisol and Diane, our returning fellows, I couldn’t be more excited. Steve and I are already joined at the hip, collaborating with technology. Even though he is in the last tough months at school he is more than willing to give our work his complete attention. He is wiling to support me as I enter a PC lab for the SUNY course! Hats off to you!
Katelin is a powerhouse of passion for teaching and deep thinking and the timing for her participation is perfect. She can really give us her all and even though I had to miss her facilitation with the reading strand, leading the discussion on Why Writing Matters, I am thrilled to have her with us.
Diane offers her willingness to be challenged and take on important responsibilities. I am so glad that she pushed herself to join us, and combat her fears. She brings to our group a walking passion for everything HVWP. Who best to model life after the SI.
Marisol, fresh from her SI last summer, is the closest to that SI experience and it will be nice to watch her move into her role with that fresh memory of where she sat last summer. And with a group so grounded in work with ELL students, her work will find its way into her conversations as a coach,in her reading group and everywhere.
Friday night, we all came to the 1907 room after a day of work. Tom, Mary and I were able to spend time together working with Mary on her TIW and then talking through book selections. It was sad to sit in Tom’s office, in its state of chaos, as he prepares to be moved out for the building’s renovation. I hope it’s worth of the dislocation that could last 5 years. I wonder who will never return.
I left Tom at his computer and Mary, off to rework her workshop a bit and with Katelin, Steve and Diane, we made our way down to the 1907 room and to get it set for the evening. All I had to do was set up for Steve’s online log using my transferred version of it to Keynote. No online access in that room. As we blew through the two LCD projectors in the room, it was good that Mary had a backup.
This Friday night session was a first for us, added to support our introduce our Si strands intros: Teacher Inquiry Workshop, Reading, Writing and Tech. I feel good about this new version, even the Friday night, but as usual everything will be re-examined for next summer.
Mary’s focus on the teacher’s writing life was the main focus of the evening. We started a bit late and maybe that’s why the very end writing of her workshop didn’t get its full attention. But the process was deep. Everyone took the call for artifacts from their writing life seriously. I did for the first time. I stood in the center of my study on Friday morning and looked hard for my writing life. I grabbed old journals, photos of mentors, books that brought me to a writing ahas…and finally to this blog.
I loved using both my new Nikon D60 and the video camera on my tripod to capture the experience.
Even the food was good. No pizza. Instead eggplant Parm, cheesy pasta, salad and canolis. Nice effort Mary.
Almost everyone showed up and that fresh energy, the newly initiated, wondering still what all the shoutin’s fur’. Wondering, what am I doing here, giving up a Friday night, and Saturday in May?
We left exhausted and satisfied. I almost had a meltdown when I couldn’t find my cell phone, that was buried deep in my photo bag. And then I had to deal with the fog covering the mountain ride to Ellenville.
But I got there and then back for an early start at yet another spot on campus, a perfect change from the Tower, the college’s Terrace restaurant. Perfect space. Luxurious in its food spread and open space.
Tom took the large morning slot with his workshop on the teacher piece. I’ve seen him present this every year and every year it grows. This year I noticed his wonderful way of scripting participant sharing and reflecting it back in keeping with his focus.I wish I could do that. The last time I presented my workshop I noticed that participant discussions went deeper than ever but I was at a loss to mine and save their thoughts in the moment of surprise.
I hope I can borrow some of what I watched Tom model.
Book chat, group photo, lunch, Katelin’s lead into the book strand and Steve and I were off to the computer lab in the building we will be using for the SI. It was great to be outside for the walk and then back into the bowels. We set up the computers, logging in and getting to the blogsite. I had us up on the big screen and Steve and I worked through the agenda, wondering how far we would get, never imagining that the group would go beyond our list, into their own blogs and personaladventures. Steve was able to share his student documentary and have us how to leave comments for reflection. Real student work and his prep for his workshop to come. Icing. It was hard to get them to power down and out at 3:30.
It was harder last year without the clarity of our tech handout and a sense of where we were going, but that’s exploration and the power of reflection and collaboration. Messy but rewarding to share it.
The end of the day. I left Steve, Mary, Katelin and Diane, figuring out the book groups and Tom chatting with Lilah and I was back in my car on the way to Paramus, Tuvia and plans for dinner in Hoboken with Ami.
What am I missing?