Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.
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It amazes me that all because of Twitter, I have great friends who I can visit with and learn from all over the country...and even some people around the world. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to connect because I truly don't think I would have found all these wonderful people without Twitter or technology.
On Friday, I had coffee with Taylor Meredith, @forfeedback, and we talked about being out of the classroom but still keeping our passion for teaching. Then on Saturday, I ran (and sometimes walked...) an 8k with Greg Armamentos, @dashthebook, and we talked about writing and teaching the entire time.
I spent all evening driving downstate to visit my friend, Katherine Sokolowski. I'm excited to spend the day in her classroom talking with her students about reading and writing. A couple months ago, I did the same thing in Jilian Heise's class.
Now I'm in Monticello, Illinois and tomorrow I'll be meeting with another recent Twitter friend, Patience Bertana, @pbertana, back home.
For the last thirteen years, I've worked in the same district. It's a large district and we have a lot of teachers I've been fortunate to meet and get to know since I have worked there, but I'm in love with how much my world has expanded thanks to Twitter. I have so many different perspectives I can connect with and learn from - whether I can be there in person or virtually.
Visiting other districts, spending time in classrooms, seeing what the have on their walls, how they organize their time, how they spend the precious minutes they have with teachers has allowed me to add ideas to my teaching toolbox. If your district gives you time to visit other classrooms in or out of your district, I highly recommend taking advantage of this! And if not, I believe it might be worthy of a personal day to see what other teachers to firsthand.
In Steal Like An Artist, Austin Kleon talks about how all artists are taking little bits of ideas from different people and putting them together to come up with our own ideas or style. When it comes to writing, this is exactly what a mentor text is all about. But this happens - or can happen - in teaching as well. I believe we are all better when we put our heads together...and if we can, then why not?
Have you had a positive experience visiting someone's else classroom or seeing how another person works? I would love to hear about it!
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