Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Second Professional Blessing

In 1983, a group of teachers in the Blue Springs District signed up for a mini-writing class given by the Greater Kansas City Writing Project. We met each Saturday morning for about six weeks. There I was introduced to writing as a process, to 'showing' the reader, and many other techniques that would become a regular part of my writing instruction.

In 1993, I was accepted to attend the Greater Kansas City Writing Project's Summer (Invitational) Institute. It was a rigorous six-weeks, meeting all day, five days a week. We read two texts, journaled about them, drafted and revised three papers, and planned and presented a demonstration on a instructional lesson/activity of our choice. Whew!

Upon completion of the course, the participants become teacher consultants. The summer left me eager to return to my classroom brimming with lots of great ideas, and the desire to continue working with the project. The National Writing Project's philosophy is teachers are the best instructors of other teachers, and teachers should be paid for their expertise, so I was also interested in remaining active in some capacity. Soon after completing the course, I stayed connected to the GKCWP in various ways, but as time passed, I pulled back as I worked on earning my masters and devoted time to my family.

When I retired in 2004, I looked forward to rejoining the Project in some capacity -- I didn't really know what. It so happened that the site had received a grant to participate in Project Outreach Network -- which basically focused on helping teachers and students who live in the urban areas of our site's territory. That led to my being the editor for the project's newsletter. (which I love doing!)

This past spring I was asked to be the assistant to the director during the '08-'09 school year.

I have often said that I would love to be someone's assistant. I like clerical work and enjoy organizing and tending to details. It's fun to see all the work that teacher consultants

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