Thursday, October 7, 2010

Staff Connections

Publicity and buy-in from staff, students and community is going to make The Write Place a viable and dynamic part of the school. I have a million ideas of what I'd like to see happen, but at the moment, it seems like there are so many logistical pieces in the way. One, of course, is that I am not on site every day so feel a little bit peripheral when I'd like to be integral, or at least have The Write Place be integral. Another piece is the schedule: students attend most of their classes every other day, so I'm constantly referring to the schedule to see what's when. The school has extended hours, which are optional, so that students have potentially 10 class options over two days plus a homeroom. It seems overwhelming. So, for example, students meet twice on even weeks and three times on odd. I have taught under that schedule and found it extremely hard to get continuity. But maybe that will not affect the writing center's effectiveness.

Monday I met with the arts teachers: Video Production, Chorus, and Band. I loved talking with them because of my own arts background. I see such a correlation between creating something visually and creating a piece with words. I always took my students in art and English through similar processes when creating new pieces. Anyway, these teachers would like to create Moodle blogs for groups of their students to give feedback/peer reviews of each other's work. They would also like to have their students write artist's statements about the work they do. I have promised to find examples of critiques so that students will have models to follow. I have some sample artist's statements as well. Our meeting was brief, so I think I will follow up with each of the teachers individually so that I can see some of the work that students have been doing.

Tuesday I introduced myself to staff and presented the all-school write at each of the morning staff meetings that are held at 7:30 and 8:30 am monthly. I had intended to be a little more compelling - maybe present a short video clip of students or others talking about writing, but I didn't realize when the meeting was until just the day before it, and it didn't seem worth waiting another month. As it turned out, all presentations were brief, and teachers were anxious to get to class. I hope a few take time to write a response to the prompt.

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