IMAGE CREDIT: Ulpun La-Inyan website
IMAGE CREDIT: Community Blogs
IMAGE CREDIT: Early-stages planning for Compass
What “good questions” do have now about yourself as a writer and a teacher that you didn’t hold at the beginning of this semester? How will these questions guide the way you “walk through the world”? How will they guide your work with your future students and your participation in the profession?
Write yourself a letter. In the first half of the letter, consider this: What has happened to get you to this place, right now today, where you sit in this room? What has gone right? What has gone wrong? If your younger self were a student in your future classroom, what advice would you give?
what is the use of poetry?
In "Poetry As Insurgent Art," Lawrence Ferlinghetti writes, "The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it." If that is indeed the case, how would poetry respond?
In Mindfulness for Beginners, Jon Kabat-Zinn claims that "not knowing is not such a bad thing" (p. 73). As a student who is becoming a teacher, do you agree? Why or why not? How will your answer affect your work with your future students (who may or may not agree with Jon Kabat-Zinn)?
no vulnerability, no learning
In her video “Daring Classrooms," Brené Brown uses the phrase “no vulnerability, no learning.” When you think about spaces that have allowed you to thrive as a learner, what conditions have been in place that have made that possible? How did people interact in these spaces? How did people treat one another? What non-negotiable principles-- spoken and/or implicit--were in place to guide these interactions and relationships? In sum, what allowed you and others to take positive risks for learning?
seeing beyond the surface
What does it mean to really see someone? What does seeing someone require? What does it mean to be seen? What does being seen require? What does any of this have to do with being a learner, a teacher, a writer, and a human being inside and outside of school?
What's the song that gets you through?
What is your personal theme song/fight song/or get-you-through-the-hard-times song--the one that you play on repeat when you’re feeling most vulnerable? Why is that song the song? How does it tap into your strongly held convictions about what it means to be a whole human being? Write about the song’s significance to you personally; then if you can, write about any connections you can make to your own teaching.
Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down.
Looking back at the Teacher As Writer pose in Pose, Wobble, Flow (Garcia & O'Donnell-Allen, 2015, p. 76), pause for a moment and consider, where do you wobble as a writer in relation to these elements of this pose? What strategies can you imagine using that will help you through that wobble? How do you feel about wobbling as a writer in with your students? Will you do it? What are the risks and rewards?
starting from scratch
Will Allen, our guest speaker on Tuesday, described a new school that's coming to Fort Collins in August 2018. The educators, youth, parents, and community members behind Compass Community Collaborative School are reimagining what school could be. If you could build a school from the ground up, what would you design? What would learning and teaching look like? How would you configure the space? How closely would it resemble mainstream schools? Go ahead and dream big.
What if grade levels in school didn't exist? What if grades on schoolwork didn't exist? Go.
draw your own conclusions
Are schools killing creativity? Talk back to Ken Robinson. Do you agree? Disagree? Have another viewpoint that's worth considering? Given that this talk was recorded in 2006, what questions would you ask Sir Ken Robinson now if you had the chance?
What do you, too, believe?
In "The Careful Cultivation of Belief," English teacher Sherri Medwin challenges readers to consider that the core beliefs that guide our work need "careful cultivation..., rich soil and ample space to extend to extend [their] young shoots," and a "network of roots to sustain [them] through inclement weather." What are your "this-I-believes" in regard to teaching and education? How do you anticipate that these ideals might guide your work in the classroom? (1.18.18)
PROMPTS FROM PREVIOUS SEMESTERS:
the big wait
I love my school and my campus and I don't want to go anywhere else. But its lonely. This transition is so much harder in a way I never imagined. Theres not really anything to do about it--you've dreamed about this for years. You've wanted this your whole life. You've done everything you could to get here. Now what? When you realize this isn't exactly what you imagined, what you had hoped for, and you don't even know if you'll get what you want anywhere else. I mean, I can't do anything else except wait. Wait for the wind to change. Wait for the seasons to pass. Wait for something.
YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT TAYLOR MALI AND HIS WORK ON HIS WEBSITE.
The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying "Faire et se taire" (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as "Shut up and get on with it." - Helen Simpson
IMAGE CREDIT: Living in Mommywood
What will you make?
You've chosen this badge for a reason. What will it help you make of yourself as a teacher? Why is this role important? How will it help you make an impact on students? On the profession of teaching? And, ultimately, on our society as a whole?
Write a letter to...
...your future self on your first day of teaching. What do you really value as an English teacher? Get that down on paper so that you won't forget. What are one or two small ways that you can imagine living out the work you're doing on your current badge on your very first day? What challenges can you imagine? What are some ways you can make it through those challenges to be the really great teacher you have the potential to be?