Letters to Tuvia #269: OPEN 2016 (7-18-16)

Evening T,

This is the first night of the Republican Presidential Convention and I’m glad that you aren’t here to watch  this nonsense. Yes, I should change the channel but I can’t.  We wouldn’t be able to, so I’m distracting both of us with this letter after a full day at SUNY kicking off another week-long Open Institute, introducing a fresh group of serious teachers to the HVWP.

In this second year co-facilitating with Kristen we’ve shifted our emphasis to take on the elephant in every classroom- that formulaic essay that takes center stage and dismantles student choice, engagement and creativity.  With the help of our mentor text written by educator, Katherine Bomer, The Journey is Everything, the group seems ready to get on board with us and write some essays that they want to write and read!  Today,as  we offered them a bit of a homework challenge to use their journals as Essay Writers’ ,  we could feel their willingness to come along with us on this journey.

The Journey is Everything... we started there.   WE offered it to the group as the first writing prompt  to take it and make it their own.  At the end of 15 minutes, probably a lifetime for  new writers, we moved our chairs into a circle-more intimate, more for the creation of community and so we began…

Maya P. joined us from the current Institute for a unique teacher inquiry workshop focused on revision, Kristen pulled short pieces from KB and read a great story to lead to a memory of play- recalling Patti’s powerful play workshop.

Lunch to finish the day with Kristen and I was back on the road, heading home tired but satisfied.

And just one more challenge…reclaiming my music!!! But that’s for tomorrow…


Just before I end this a family  update:

A  Great Sunday in NYC.  Leora hosted a wonderful dinner at her new apartment as we watch her come into her adulthood. I felt behind our 10 year Save the Date magnet! You would be proud of her.  She is standing on her own!



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