When good teachers get together . . . collaboration happens. There doesn't need to be "a teacher" or an assignment. In the Invitational Summer Institute this past month, teachers decided to collaborate across grade levels, asking their students to write for and work with each other. For example, Jeromy's first graders and Erin's English tenth grade English language learners are going to be sharing their work with each other. And Elva has some great ideas about asking her students to translate their understanding of principles of biology into picture books for elementary school kids.
When good teachers get together . . . they want to practice what they've learned. Our ISI participants wanted to try out digital storytelling, so they are working on videos we can use to promote our site.
When good teachers get together . . . they reflect on their teaching. Our ISI Fellows weren't intimidated when we asked them to do teacher research. They are going to try integrating a new strategy in their teaching, exploring the effects on student learning and reporting back to us on our first post-Institute day.
When good teachers get together . . . knowledge is not only shared, it is constructed. Our ISI participants shared their teaching experience--and they created new understandings of teaching. Together, we figured out new applications of technology in educational settings. I'm committed to creating an ENGL 131 that will allow me to employ (and practice) the new knowledge I've gained from working with this group of teachers.
I have really enjoyed working with the SJVWP ISI 2010 Fellows. They are an amazing group of teachers and really wonderful human beings. I'm excited to see how their pedagogy will shift over the coming year. I'm convinced that they will do all kinds of great things in their teaching careers.