Long ago I read
Side by Side and
In the Middle (Atwell),
The Art of Teaching Writing (Calkins),
Living Between the Lines (Calkins, Harwayne),
The Patterning of Complex Behariors (Clay),
Lessons That Change Writers (Atwell)
They altered my professional life.
I stopped talking to students,
Began talking with them.
Well deserved honor for Nancy Atwell,
Teacher, teacher of teachers,
Who has been changing lives
One word at a time.
Long ago, I remember
Atwell described similarities
Between the reading/writing lives
Of adolescents and young learners.
Encouraged students to read, like readers,
To write, like writers,
About self selected, meaningful topics,
Advised teachers to confer, suggest,
Recently, I read
"There is no more important homework
than reading," she said.
It's the biggest predictor of academic success!
Yet not with requirements, logs, mandates.
Reading self selected texts
Personally meaningful topics.
Reading for pleasure
Huge for math/science learning.
Today, I'm smiling.
It's nice to think I am in her
A book or two
Rest on my shelf
Her ideas, her words
Resonate in my heart.