I have never been an “It takes a villiage”theorist. I believe that people need to figure things out for themselves, find what works and live life.My happiness is not determined by a group, but rather my initiative and what I bring to the group. I do belive that in sharing our experiences, we are validated and inspired, but that connection does not fall into our lap. As I have been slicing, I have come to know that some things “feed” me and some do not.
We are all part of a variety of communities. By choice. Because we like it. It makes us feel purposeful. Time spent is precious and uplifting vs. the mandatory meeting…agendas – grade level representative-clinical.
I am part of the MiELA Network here in Michigan. Teachers teaching teachers. The people I have met are phenomenal. Such passion and caring, helping me to learn to present and share our passion with others. Those people from across the state have helped me raise my game and become a stronger teacher of reading and writing.
I was awarded a fellowship for the Lake Michigan Writing Project last summer and I am pretty sure if it did not change my life, that the experience definitely breathed a peace and happiness into my life that I had not had before. A bunch of overachieving teachers K-post secondary reading, writing and talking about it all for 3 weeks in the summer.
My AAESA ( county regional educational service area) book group. We are reading Who’s Doing the Work? How to say Less so the Readers do more. The title pops into my head daily during reading time…I ask can they do this or do I need to. A groups of teachers from around the county sharing ideas, experiences and resources. I learned about Podcasts here. Such brilliance!
A book group at school too! Reading Fostering Resiliant Learners Many of my students are students who have experienced trauma. This book helps us help them.
And finally my heart of hearts, my grade level team. I have never had as hard of a year ( moving grade levels/ challenging class) , but been as happy. My 3 colleagues are the most student focused, talented people and I so appreciate the every day I get to spend with them. They are open and supportive and have a collective love for all of our 4th graders. I am blessed beyond words.
Now, I have other communities as well, family, sports teams (albeit temporary based on the season) but it is my intellectual communities that feed me. I taught in isolation for a long time, but have now learned that some of my best self can be found in the communities in which I proudly call myself a member.
Who are your communities?