Sweet Grass Meet Up: #writingintotheday #22

I didn’t write a post yesterday.  I wanted to but I needed a photo of us and even though I thought about freezing a moment with Nancy yesterday I was just too distracted by our conversations on steroids. It’s always like that.  We share it all and in rapid succession.

It’s always been that way.

20 years?  Could that be right? 20 years of friendship?  How lucky I am!

I could easily spend the rest of this post turning this piece into a testimonial about how amazing Nancy Letts is and that would be all correct but I think what’s really cool for me is how amazing it’s been to share moments with Nancy, often over a meal, a glass of wine, a walk in Piermont, a classroom in Pearl River High School.

Our friendship was blessed by my superiors at an odd moment in time.  Just home from my first National Writing Project conference in Denver, I was happy and overwhelmed to get back to my kids but on that first morning back, my principal, standing in front of the HS mailboxes led me to her office with a invitation she was sure I couldn’t refuse.  Well, I could refuse her offer of a day of PD but she urged me to trust her, in fact she had already called my sub back for another day.  Even though Susan was sure I would thank her for this day, I was not so certain.  I don’t think I had had any professional development to rave about.  But, hey why not keep an open mind.

I checked in with the sub, grabbed my coat.  warmed up my car and headed to the conference center.  A small group of teachers from across content areas were there to share the day with me.  Nancy would be offering us  Socratic Seminar, a technique that would change my teaching life.  It didn’t take long for her to melt my skepticism.

Nancy looked cool- great clothes, funky hair cut, lots of charisma and a classroom strategy that I needed and didn’t know it.  I was so ready to move out of the center of my classroom stage and Nancy arrived to help in my move.  I spent the day loving the experience.  We worked together in pairs, the larger groups, full group, but Nancy spent very little time lecturing.   I might not have anything to do with the administrators who put us together, but I remain grateful to them.

At the end of the day, my mind was racing… I wanted more, I wanted to understand how I could used this strategy with my kids and principal Susan had our next steps built into the project. All too often PD is a one shot deal but not with Nancy.  She would be back for more conference days, classroom visits with our students and shared experiences.

So began our friendship of sharing our lives.

20 years later I experiment with a beet burger and Nancy chooses a healthy salad  and no matter how much time we allot for our meet up,  we never have time for everything.  But that’s a good thing.

Back in cyberspace, as FB friends we share links to the world of advocacy in education and everything progressive.

Sweet Grass, what a perfect spot for us to graze together.

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"writing is the painting of the voice" -Voltaire-

Tammy L. Breitweiser

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