Tools of the Trade: Each Other
by Kelly Virgin
My week as a co-facilitator of the PAWLP Grammar Matters course reminded me of the most vital tools teachers have access to in our profession: each other. Throughout the week I had the sheer pleasure of learning from a group of experienced and dedicated teachers. Teachers who instruct everyone from the the tech-savvy-pajama-clad-behind-the-screen cyber high schooler to the squiggly-giggly-in-the-flesh-on-the-floor fourth grader. Teachers who reminded me of the importance of reading picture books to my 9th graders and who rejuvenated my excitement to explore conventions along with them. Teachers who introduced me to educational websites, learning apps, presentation tools and who had the patience to help me learn how to access and use them. Teachers who challenged my thinking and reaffirmed my beliefs.
In just a few short weeks many of us will be back to days that are crammed with lesson planning and attendance taking. We will be focused on our students’ learning and consumed by our daily responsibilities as educators. And if we don’t make a conscientious effort, days, maybe even weeks, will pass without us taking the time to engage in any challenging or reaffirming professional conversations. However, in order to sustain our energy and creativity for all 180 days of the school year, it is important to remember to take the time to talk to and to work with our colleagues as well as to seek professional assets from beyond our daily encounters.