I joined 1,200 teachers today at #tcrwp Writing Institute at Columbia University's upper west side. It was powerful seeing the number of K-8 teachers and administrators who came in droves to hear Lucy Calkins and the other Teachers College Reading and Writing Project staff developers talking about writing and units of study. I learned a lot about the history of the pioneers of writing instruction, had several chances to put pen to paper, and jotted down furious notes about the teaching moves and language the staff developers used.
I was lucky to be paired up with Cornelius Minor, a Liberian born teacher, with a wealth of knowlege about middle schoolers, soccer, skateboarding, and technology. I could listen to him for hours! I was also starstruck by the author of "Upstanders," Sara Ahmed, who just happened to be attending the same small group section. GASP.
The afternoon rounded out with a large group session with Mary Ehrenworth. Mary's poise, verbosity, and heart of gold for all things literacy are infectious. You just want to be a better reader and writer, or anything for that matter, in her presence.
If the rest of the week is anything like this first day, this will be an experience to remember...and well worth the budget hotel blues.