"If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed, the vision pulls you." -- Steve Jobs
After days of sorting, packing, pitching, putting things away, I looked around the now empty classroom. It was in this moment that I realized for the first time in 26 years I was saying goodbye to spending part of my day in a classroom. Each year, for 26 years, I've become entwined in a community of learners for a year. Each year we've learned to share space, we've helped each other discover new learning, we've shared books, and we've laughed together. Even during my years as a Reading Recovery teacher and a Literacy Coach I was still in a classroom for half of my day.
Suddenly I stood in the doorway and realized the significance of my decision to move to a reading intervention position in my building. It was time for a change. I like change. I thrive on change. I'd been teaching first grade in the same space (well, nearly the same space --- long story) for at least 8 years. That's kind of a record for me and speaks to the community I am a part of which always pushes my thinking and keeps me laughing at the same time. When I heard of a primary reading intervention spot opening up in our building, I'll admit I was intrigued. There was so much possibility there. The idea of thinking about something new was exciting.
As the possibility became a reality I was excited, but I was also a little worried. How would I feel not having a classroom community? What about reading aloud to a classroom of students? What about not sitting beside writers every day? What about technology? What about my amazing team?
This summer, I will be contemplating possibilities. My bookshelf is stacked with books to read and reread about reading instruction, intervention, and shaping readers. I'm keeping a running list on my phone of ideas I may want to consider as I begin a new year. I'm rethinking "community" and making mine bigger. I'm considering how I will collaborate and share information with teachers to make it easy for them to access without taking much of their time, yet allow us to stay consistent in our messages for readers. I'm wrestling with Google vs. Evernote. I'm thinking about technology tools and applications that will purposefully support the readers I will see each day. I'm planning ways to transition into a new year and get in touch with readers as they do the important work of learning routines and finding their place in their classroom communities in the first weeks of school.
This summer, I'm planning possibilities. I'm looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges that are ahead.
If you work in this capacity and you have thoughts/suggestions/tips you'd like to share, please leave them in the comments. I'd love to build connections and learn from you. If you work with readers who receive support and you have have thoughts/suggestions/tips you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them. I'm interested in knowing about books that have shaped your practice, challenges you've faced, organizational tips, planning suggestions, your instructional framework, structuring days that work for students and teachers, and much much more.