The Time is NOW

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

                                                                                                                 Nelson Mandela


         There are lots of things that are right about educations today. Teachers and students are reading more and interacting more with parents, students and fellow teachers. One way to interact with colleagues in your own school and with colleagues from across the country is to participate in professional development opportunities such as ILA and NCTE.  There are many stellar conferences in our own backyards. For me, PCTELA and KSRA in October promise to offer incredible venues that cannot be overlooked or dismissed. I will make time to attend both events.  This week I facilitated two sessions at a Best Practice Summit in Boyertown Area School District. So many Boyertown teachers K-12 were facilitating sessions, and there was an air of excitement and commitment throughout the day. Good things are happening.
          Six Dots Louis Braille
         When we make the time and monetary commitment to attend staff development opportunities such as these, we do so because we know it is the right thing to do , because we know we cannot stand still – we have to keep moving forward. We are teachers, and we can change the world by helping our students believe that they can change the world, and they don’t have to wait. When Jen Bryant wrote Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille, she did so to help young people know that they don’t have to wait to do something remarkable, something no one had ever done before, something that might change the world. Bryant wrote this through Louis’s perspective as a child who desperately wanted to be able to read. Blinded as a young boy, his quest to read the world eventually led him to develop the Braille system we still use today at the age of fifteen.  This account of a young inventor on a quest to invent an accessible reading system for blind people is moving and compelling.
         We are here together in a writing community called Slice of Life 2018. We’ve  learned some new strategies and structures, gathered new ideas to ponder, searched for and often purchased new books to read that were recommended by our colleagues here, shared these new books with our students, and experimented with myriad craft moves and strategies for writing workshop. We’ve all made some new friends and became reacquainted with Slicer friends from other years. We’ve been challenged to read more, write more, think more, feel more.
         Thanks to the twowritingteachers blog team for creating this place to read, write, and wonder.  We really need each other — for encouragement, for knowledge, for vision. This experience has helped us outgrow ourselves — change in some ways, consider possibilities. There’s a reason why we’re all here. We have the place and time to do something fabulous. The place is anywhere we gather with educators and/or students. The time is NOW.