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Posts tagged ‘professional development’

Grateful to Be Traitful: Reflections on a PAWLP Day

By Janice Ewing

On the first day of summer

with much on our plates

a group got together

to discuss the Six Traits

For PAWLPers a day

of immersion in writing

is our kind of fun

our kind of exciting

Read more

“Writing Naked”

By Judy Jester

      The first time I wrote a piece for Voices in the Middle, I intended merely to document the nuts and bolts of the annual poetry slam I run at my school. It was fun. Here’s how you do it. But that’s more of the Instructor magazine type article. NCTE expects you to explain why such an endeavor is worthwhile. In attempting to clarify this for others, I discovered it myself. The poetry competition isn’t only fun; it fosters better writing as well. In what eventually resulted in Audience and Revision: Middle Schoolers Slam Poetry (Feb. 1997), I documented the results of interviews with students who said that they revised their poems far more because they knew they would be performing them in front of their peers. Read more

Moving Past the Required Reflection

By Monica DeMuro

        Reflection is something we’re all taught as educators going through college. For some of us, by the time we graduate, reflection becomes rote, something we have to check off at the end of the semester. It became that way for me.  At times, I felt as though I was reflecting upon reflecting upon reflecting. I couldn’t take it anymore! Like many methods learned in our education classes, the value of reflection only became realized in practice in the real life classroom. Read more

Summer Courses

PAWLP — An Invitation to Inquiry

By Janice Ewing

       “Transforming wonderings into questions is the start of teacher research” (Hubbard & Power, 2003).

      This month on our blog we’ve been exploring the challenges and rewards of research and inquiry. Tricia Ebarvia shared the thoughtful process she has developed with her students  in “Updating the Research Paper” and Rita Sorrentino examined the timely issue of “Why Johnny Can’t Search.” These and numerous other posts have inspired me to reflect on the value of teacher research and inquiry and on PAWLP’s role in creating a culture that invites us into these practices and sustains their growth. Read more

Teaching To and For Diverse Populations

By Kathleen Hall Scanlon

“You have one weapon & one weapon only: Use it. It is your ability to teach.”  

– Alice Walker

      “My student teachers usually observe for two weeks before I give up my classes,” my 28-year-old cooperating teacher announced. I, however, expected to teach immediately. I’d just completed a stellar initial experience in Allentown after observing for a single day. As I departed Allen High, three tenth graders – two African Americans and one Latina – wished they could accompany me to Reading. I wondered why.

      “You’ll see.” Read more