What a perfect way to spend an afternoon before I leave for DC! Tara Smith is some teacher! Many of you, who read her blog posts regularly are probably not surprised but then unless you can come and watch and participate with her, how can you know for sure? I was excited when we our collaboration started taking shape last summer and thrilled when we got the final green light from her principal and then it was reality and I was on my way to our first day of collaborating and documenting and I wondered, what if Tara wasn’t the teacher I felt in my bones she was.
Strict at first, constantly reminding her students how they needed to behave in her room. I watched her jumping beans moving at a pace even faster than my most hyper active 8th graders. I wondered how this picture would look in the Spring and hey, we are almost in Spring and Tara has been able to relax, mostly.
Today was just a day for her afternoon class and they reimagined their slices about their favorite places. I felt comfortable sharing my ideas with Tara and then with the class as I photographed and documented their writing process with my freshly operational super Canon G20.
We talked before the class, during the class and I’m sure our conversation will continue when their pieces are in. Sadly I’ll miss the sharing circle on Friday but Tara promises to capture some of the moments.
I am rereading Why School?, Will Richardson’s recent mini E-book- the text of his popular TED talk. A well respected teacher and digital educator, we are on the same page when it comes to education, standardized tests, CCSS and as I get ready to work on my chapter for Tory Hick’s new book, his work inspires me. Tara is wired yet but she’s getting ready. She is not lecturing to those kids in their grouped seats. They are making choices as writers.
I’m sure you can tell I had a great time today with Tara’s writers.
YES YES and YES.
Soon I will have a video to share with you, I promise.