Saturday, March 19, 2011
This weekend I did two presentations at the Illinois Reading Council Conference. One of them was on making documentary films in place of a research paper, and the other was on integrating the reading/writing workshop through genre studies. While I've attended the IRC conference many times over the past seventeen years, this is the first time I've ever presented there. I never really thought I had anything amazing to share that other teachers didn't already know.
However, my thinking about what I have to share with other teachers has changed since I began doing PD for my school district and since I began working with the Illinois Writing Project. I've come to realize, that in my eighteen years in the classroom I've learned quite a bit through trial and error and through long hours of reading, thinking, and analyzing what works for me and my students.
Today I felt honored to give back to my profession, to provide teachers with something to think about the way countless others have done for me in the past. Presenting at conferences isn't about stroking my ego, but rather helping a colleague on their own journey of learning. Of course, just because I'm helping others does not mean my own journey is over!