Monday, September 24, 2012

More Slow-More Learning

The Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Ruth and Stacey at Two Writing Teachers.  Go look, read, and reflect!









Yesterday I wrote my post about books read last week, including this in an introduction to a new picture book shared by a friend and colleague:  One of my colleagues has chosen to do a 'food' year with her primary students. They will study gardens, growing in the wild, different cultures, cooking, and any other topic connected to food. We share many picture books and I count it as a pleasure whenever I can find a book about food that she doesn't know. I learn a lot from her about books, but also about teaching the youngest students in our school.  I am always grateful when I talk with her because she shows such intention in her teaching.  Each thing she does has a reason to "be" in her classroom and in her work with students. My talks with her make me think about my own ideas, enhance them and sometimes change them.  

      Some time in the past I wrote a post titled "good teaching is a conversation".   I have the pleasure of many conversations with colleagues because that is my job, and I end my days reflecting on those words, taking notes on the learning that I've done just through the talk.    
      While considering these ideas, it is my hope that as much as possible, everyone will take the time to slow down and talk with colleagues, ones next door and those on the other sides of your buildings.  Sharing teaching ideas, reasons why, good parts and not so good are ways we can grow in our teaching without spending one dime on workshops or professional books, although those are of value too.  The professionals, remember, are right there in the building with you. Please take time to experience some of those slices-of-life conversations I'm describing.
 
photo credit: mrsdkrebs via photopin cc

26 comments:

  1. What a beautiful reminder, Linda. There is such a wealth of information right there in schools with so many passionate teachers who, as you described, are intentional in their teaching - and very creative and ingenious as well. It's sad that few people take the time to really learn from one another, and grow from each one's 'expertise.'

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    1. Hi Myra-I guess it's about mid-day there, right? Hope it's a nice one. Yes, I think it's valuable to talk with colleagues, and one thing I didn't say is that it's valuable for students to see us talking too. Maybe that's another conversation-what students should see us doing?

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  2. Right on target, as usual, Linda! I've opened up my classroom as a place to meet during my fourth period prep, when it is kid-free. I put on classical music, make tea and go about my work, and my sixth grade colleagues have taken to coming in to share the quiet space. Now we also chat and that makes for a lovely time - we do learn so much from each other, and makes for a much better teaching community. It's a small start...

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    1. Oh-such a wonderful idea, Tara! I hope you can share some of our Kittle learning with them, too! Lovely to hear about.

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  3. You are so right, Linda. Some of my best ideas start out as conversation with colleagues. I learn so much from listening to what goes on in other classrooms in my building. But, as a high school teacher, I steal many ideas from colleagues in the elementary/middle school across the road. And Twitter has become a great way for me to share with them and carry on conversations.

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    1. I am still re-miss at not participating more on Twitter. I just can't seem to find the time-guess I should take my own advice, huh? Thanks Deb for the reminder.

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  4. Great reminder Linda. I find myself moving too quickly through the day and missing the moments of talk and shared experiences that make this tough work of education such a joy.

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    1. We seem to miss because of hurry, & I realize that there are those times when one just cannot stop to chat, but still wish it could be a little different. Thanks, Juliann.

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  5. Good teaching is a conversation. Thanks, Linda, for all your good cyber conversations and insights.

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  6. You're welcome, Maya. Things are slowing down a little, so perhaps I'll be able to visit others' posts today to join in the conversation.

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  7. I love inspirational conversations and try to avoid bitter moaning gatherings. In a good company sometimes it is just good to listen (read) and not talk.

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    1. Yes, sometimes at lunch, many have plenty to say, so it's good to sit, relax & listen, Terje. Thanks!

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  8. Thank you for the reminder Linda. I have been missing those conversations in my new building and haven't yet found a setting for them but I need to keep trying. This was a good reminder. ;)

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    1. I wonder where they are sometimes, & realize some are so busy. But colleagues give good support, in hugs and words. I hope you have a successful 'find' soon, Dana.

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  9. What a lovely reminder. I put a note in my "plan book" reminding me to "slow down" but I also need to add a note to "give support." I hope that stopping to talk...ask how the their tot is faring this fall or ask about a student is enough....but I know I need reminders to do more...and to be more available...every day. Thank you.

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    1. It's so hard to slow down. We just had a change at school & now I'm filling in for someone, so more to do, to rush to. Thanks Anita.

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  10. The professionals, remember, are right there in the building with you. I love this line and the reminder to slow down and share some slice of life conversations. I'm always pleased when friends stop by my room. It takes just a few moments, and it's good for all of us!

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    1. Thanks Ramona. It is a good thing, and enjoyable to me for sure.

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  11. There are times in the conversations in this Slicers group that make me remember how much I enjoyed teaching and sharing conversations with other teachers in "real time", too. I get irritated when people talk about the need for good teachers, when all I've ever REALLY been exposed to in my career are wonderful, caring, creative, insightful, knowledgeable people, who love what they are doing. Keep the conversations alive!

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    1. I agree, Donna. Lots of wonderful & knowledgeable colleagues for us. Sorry to hear you've been ill. Take care!

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  12. Conversations with colleagues are so very important - and such a meaningful, essential part of teaching! Thank you for this reminder, shining a spotlight on the value of collaboration. I think, too, of your earlier words/Ruth's post about slowing down. Oh, how much more we would converse with colleagues if we just opened our doors more at the beginning and end of the day, and slowed down enough to make it happen.

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    1. I'm glad you noticed that the two posts are connected, Maureen. As I wrote a comment to someone last week, I thought more about this, & then, as said above, my own conversations pushed me to write this. We do need to slow down as much as we can.

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  13. It seems like you always write just what I need to hear, Linda! I've been running around so crazily for the past few weeks that I've barely had time to talk with anyone, let alone meet all the new colleagues in my building and then talk with them! It is so truly important though, and that's what makes me so glad that I have all my "virtual colleagues" to turn to as well! Fittingly, I have an all-day meeting tomorrow with other ELL teachers from the district, so I hope our day is full of the kinds of talking you describe!

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    1. I hope so, too, Jennifer. It's a perfect time to start isn't it? I know you're in a new building, & hope also that others will take the time to know you! They are missing good conversation if they don't. Thanks.

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  14. You remind me that conversation is important. It's easy to get caught up in blogging (or tweeting for those with more time : )or connecting with our larger virtual community, but the people we work with every day matter more. Change happens in community and conversation drives that change. I'm not going to feel guilty for not grading if I traded grading for a meaningful conversation with a peer. Thanks, Linda.

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    1. And I liked your post yesterday very much, Lee Ann. Yes, it's the highest priority I think. Plus, it energizes me to talk about teaching with my colleagues. Thanks!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!