Self portraits of an english teacher progressive practice b games play online


I’m thinking a lot these days about a recurring project my son did in kindergarten. Every month, they drew a new self-portrait. With a small hand mirror and colored pencils in front of him, my son paused, observed, and drew what he saw. gas in oil causes The drawings became more detailed over time, capturing things like skin tone, expression, clothing, and when looked at together they tell a kind of narrative: who my son was at a particular moment and who he was becoming, over time.

November 2005. My first year at LREI. I’m in the car on the way back from a conference at Bard College with two colleagues when I nervously confess: I want to be a writer who teaches, not a teacher who writes. I have just graduated from my MFA program, and I clutch tightly to that idea. The distinction matters because it’s about priorities. Writing should be the driving force of my identity. Green with red spots vs. red with green spots. You see the difference.

But both identities are integral to who I am and who I want to be. Writing sustains me, as teaching does. Both are creative and personal and hard and thrilling. Both are always about more than just myself. hp gas online booking I am a teacher (we know this job never stops, even in the summers). And I am a writer, even when I’m not writing. However, I haven’t found a way to do both, simultaneously. I carve out separate times for my writer self, in the summers mostly, and always outside the traditional space of “work.”

These two selves are connected more than I think. My teacher self informs what I value as a writer; my writer self informs what I value as a teacher. I am a writer who loves language and thus a teacher who loves language. gas kansas Writing is a lens through which I see myself, the world, my students, the texts I teach, the assignments I craft. Yet, how might actively inhabiting my writerly self more consciously during the year, more intentionally, improve my teaching? How might I be more purposeful about modeling for my students my writerly lens, my writerly discipline? How can writing be a source that sustains me throughout the school year? What would it look like to carve out time and energy for my own writing work? How would my relationship to teaching, to students, to assessments shift?

Last year, the word most often out of my mouth might have been discourse. I was concerned about how I was facilitating meaningful discourse (not discussion, but real dialogue) in my classroom. How were students really talking to each other and constructing meaning together? This year, however, more than ever, I’m seeing how listening – meaningful, significant, true listening – is an overlooked skill key to rich, productive discourse.

Part of what the New Sanctuary accompaniments do is place us in the position of listener. The friends we accompany have stories we don’t know. We are not supposed to ask. It’s none of our business. In the courtroom, the students and I listen carefully, holding the system accountable. gas in michigan We listen to the judge, the lawyers, our friend, the interpreter. We listen for tone and nuance. We make observations, and then share our reflections with each other later. We learn a lot through listening – about immigration court, about policy, about individual experiences — and then we work to make sense of it all together. And we are learning that this listening, this bearing witness, is a powerful form of activism and social justice.

Over my time at LREI, I have developed countless new courses, units, and projects. Some of them have been independent, and some, like the redesign of the English 9-12 program, have been in collaboration with colleagues. Some of this work still exists (in new iterations, often), and some has been put aside or flat out discarded over the years.

I save mostly everything, however. I have notebooks, binders, and google doc drives full of iterations of projects and units and handouts. electricity word search puzzle Mostly, they sit on dusty shelves above my desk. Every once in a while I’ll be compelled to search through them, because a colleague asks for a resource or I remember some germ of an idea that was beginning to take shape. Sometimes, it seems like that work exists in another life: What? I used to do a performance project with Macbeth? What? Students created set designs for Cat on the Hot Tin Roof? What? I used to teach a unit on Native American poetry?