Sometimes things stay with you. In December I got this message:
I have been working with three teachers this fall who have transformed their classrooms (all ranging from freshman level to AP Lit and AP Lang) from the traditional class to a readers/writers workshop approach. Your blog posts always show up in my email box at the exact right time when they are in need of inspiration to keep going and figure out what to do in their classes. They realized very quickly how fast they were able to get through “old curriculum” when they dropped the class novel approach and were then scrambling to find new and exciting mentor texts, books to share, and additional writing ideas. Their students have read thousands of pages and enormous amounts of books which never happened in their classes before. Students were writing them thank you letters for inspiring them to become true readers and writers. Penny Kittle’s books got them started on this path, but your real life teacher posts have helped them validate what they are doing. So… thank you and keep those posts coming. They are making a difference in our classrooms.
I could write a book about the value in that feedback (Probably will). Feedback should make writers want to write more. That is exactly what Melissa Sethna’s kind words did for me and my friends here at TTT.
Her simple thanks also made us want to follow her work, support her even more, watch how she helps other teachers. We’ve become colleagues with a united purpose. We’ve become friends.
And that is the beauty of the modern PLC.
A literacy specialist in Mundelein, IL sends a thank you to a teacher/blogger in Lewisville, TX, which makes the teacher/blogger want to become a better teacher so she becomes a better writer so she writes more inspiring and instructional blog posts for other teachers and so on.
Teachers supporting one another as we do our best to do right by the children that we teach. As ELA teachers the best way we know how to do that is through balanced literacy practices in readers and writers workshop.
That’s the foundation for the Three Teachers Talk blog, which started as three friends committing to stay in touch by sharing our work through our writing. We are four teachers now — writing, sharing, and growing. And participating in a Professional Learning Community that’s been redefined, refocused, and restructured by connected educators around the globe who are just like us.
Thank you, readers, for being part of the best PLC on the planet.
Note: Melissa Sethna posts as a guest blogger here tomorrow. Her work inspires us.
©Amy Rasmussen, 2011 – 2015