Tonight I am attempting to process all that I took in from an amazing learning experience today while visiting Paul Klapper School in Queens, NY. Four other teachers from Maine and I traveled through rain and fog and arrived in New York City very late last night.
This morning we entered the school soon after the children. We checked in with the police at the door and were quickly whisked away into this school full of hard working educators and children. Our purpose was to observe the Units of Study from Teachers College being implemented in an experience school.
I had many take aways from this day…
Seeing this work done from K-8 is powerful. From the littlest kindergarten student to the BIG eighth graders all were engaged in reading and writing workshop. Using similar expectations, language and rubrics. One year building on the next.
Visiting a school, no matter where it is, feels comfortable and familiar. Kids are kids and teachers are teachers. It was so easy to pull up to a student and ask them about their work. The teachers were so open to having us in their class and it felt collegial even though we had never met before.
Giving teachers the time to talk and share is also powerful. Teachers all through the building gave up parts of their day to meet with us and share their work. There are so many areas for growth and by talking to each other we see the potential for how we can grow as teachers.
There is a whole world of teachers out there. We all have to much in common and so much we can share. Visiting a school in person is obviously a wonderful experience. But, it also made me think of all the classrooms I get to visit virtually through Twitter and blogs like Two Writing Teachers.
I have so many ideas buzzing around in my head, I am not sure where I will start when I get back to Maine. Of course, there is much more learning on the agenda for tomorrow…