Day 52 – I came home early for this!

18 Aug

You know how you sign up to do something in a vunerable moment, thinking that it will be good? How many times does that work out? This spring, not only did I agree to come home three days early from vacation, I responded to the email ‘pick me, pick me’! What was I thinking? I’ll tell you what I was thinking; it’s Penny Kittle, I have to do this.

I’m so glad that I did. I must admit, I’m exhausted. I traveled 12 hours in the car yesterday from NJ to NB, then this morning I met colleagues at the school at 6 AM to drive to Moncton for the workshop. I drove, we had a fantastic, engaging and mentally rewarding but taxing, day. Then, we went shopping and out for dinner. I got home by 8:30 PM, but now my mind is racing. I’m glad I don’t have to go to work tomorrow. In fact, right now I don’t even want to think about it.

So, instead of going through any explanation of what made the workshop so awesome, I thought I’d give you a few snippets of my notes, quotes, and pieces of advice that I wrote during the day:

  • We often teach revision like it is cleaning up after the party–revision IS the party!
  • Always stop your students when they want more time to write. Don’t wait until they’re tired of writing.
  • Writing is a practice sport, the more you write the better you get.
  • Approach reading and writing as elements in the art of living well.
  • Readers have plans. Readers keep lists of books they want to read.
  • Ask: where in THAT story should I slow down time?
  • “Maybe if we reinvent whatever our lives give us, we find poems.” ~ Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Student’s question: How long does it have to be? Teacher’s response: How long will it take you to tell your story? Are you going to give it the attention it deserves?
  • If you cannot write well, you cannot think well, and if you cannot think well, others will do your thinking for you.” ~ George Orwell
  • Name the brillance in every kid’s writing.
  • Give kids reading experiences that matter to them.
  • Give kids writing experiences that matter to them and you’ll get more out of them.

Hey, she quoted Naomi Shihab Nye; what’s not to love?



2 Responses to “Day 52 – I came home early for this!”

  1. Gary Anderson August 18, 2011 at 10:39 PM #

    I’m terribly jealous that you got to spend the day with Penny Kittle. Just thinking about how many writers she’s affected is mind-boggling. Thanks for sharing your perceptions. And a big Yes to Naomi Shihab Nye!


  1. Day 58 – My summer has been GREAT! « wildmudturtle writes - August 24, 2011

    […] a bunch of new classes including, accidently of course, body combat. I was lucky enough to go to the best workshop I’ve attended in my whole career. And, I’ve read some great books. I’ve […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: