Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What's My Focus?

I guess January is made for reflection. The last two weeks I've been thinking about The Write Place and trying to really center my work as well as look ahead to possibilities. I'm in an awkward position since I'm funded by ARRA money and unless I can find a way to fund this Center next year, it will cease to exist in June. This is compounded by the fact that I need to establish the presence of the writing center in order to attract the attention of people who would see this as a viable funding opportunity. I've been in this position before, acting "as if" great things are already happening or building my bridge as I walk across it.

So, I drafted some possible options for 2nd semester and some thoughts about next year...I met with the principal and we narrowed my ideas down to another all-school write; work with the 9th grade teacher on preparing for the state writing test in April; and work with students preparing to enter the History Day competition this year. I also plan on hosting at least a couple of "Writing Excursions" for interested students.

Then, I met with others in a Writing Center Symposium format and started re-thinking my role once again...Is this writing center for the students or for the teachers? I want it to be for the students, but I am unsure how much summative writing is actually assigned, and I wonder if it is being assigned, do teachers understand the process approach to writing and how a writing center could be used by students to develop their final drafts? I'm only thinking this because in the 3 instances in which I have worked with teachers, I have not seen final products. In each case, I was asked to help develop and deliver the assignments but my work with students and their writing was minimal. Should I be visiting Professional Learning Communities here and give them a menu of possible writing topics I could explore with them? Or is that really branching away from my focus?

More later...

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