Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Today It Happened

Back in mid-October I (and Linda, from TeacherDance) received an email from our friend , Christy (Rush-Levine). Ruth (as in Ayres) was going to visit and observe in her classroom. She was a little nervous about Ruth coming to her room. I could sympathize, I mean, after all, it was RUTH!

Here's what Christy said to me, "  I mean, it's Ruth we're talking about here.  She gets things right.  What if Friday turns out to be one of those days--you know, the kind where you feel like you are playing whack-a-mole more than you are teaching?  What if where I am in implementing a workshop approach is "so two years ago" in Ruth's world?  These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.  Well, those and what do I wear?"  (Yes, Christy, I still have the emails)

After the visit, another email. This one full of excitement about the visit and the things she took away from it. Ruth posted about the experience also. I was so jealous of the experience they had together. They are both teachers and writers that I admire and to think of the two of them together in the same room. Wow. I could only imagine the smart conversations taking place.

And, oh yeah, there was also this part of the email,  "The past two days were absolutely incredible.  Ruth posted about the power of observation as professional development; it is so true.  Even as the person being observed, I was pushed to grow as I explained my practices and listened to their responses.  

My first thought as soon as they left was, "I need to find a way to visit Deb's classroom."  I am not sure a visit to see Linda is in my budget, but that was my second thought.  I am serious.  Can we work something out Deb?  How far away from Chicago are you?  Could I make that drive in a day?  I would plan to stay in a hotel overnight, of course, but are you close enough to make it work?  Would I be allowed to come observe?"

Of course, I said yes.

But, I didn't think it would really happen. 

And then in March, there was another email. Christy had spring break in April. Could she come then?

Of course I said yes.

But, I didn't think it would really happen.

Emails went back and forth. Details worked out.

She was coming to visit!

But, I didn't think it would really happen.

But today

It did. 

I'll have more to write tomorrow about this incredible visit. I've got lots to think about and reflect on. The power of observation....


  1. Wow! How exciting! I am anxious to read what you learned. I love how you piggybacked off of her email. I hear her voice well. Your craft sharing your thinking is brilliant. Yeah!

  2. How cool! What an awesome day for both of you! I loved the way you took us on this journey of emails over time and the repetition of I didn't think it would really happen. Isn't it wonderful when real world life meets up with cyberlife?

  3. How very exciting! We have Collegial Learning in our school where teachers in the building observe other teachers. It is one of my favorite parts of our school...I learn so much for observing others and learn about myself as a teacher by listening to what they see. I can't wait to hear about your time together.

  4. How exciting is this, Deb. You two should "be" together. I am working with the interns this year and observing them, and really enjoy the conversations I have with them. Although I'm supposed to be the expert, I still learn from their ideas and perspective too. I'm so happy for you all. Deb, I'm hoping to go to the All-Write conference this year. Now that you've met Christy, don't you have an added incentive to get there?
    Cannot wait to hear more!

  5. How cool that Christy could visit you! Can't wait to hear more about your time together! Wonder how far it is from Denver? Maybe Linda and I could drive it together some time?

  6. Aaamazing! How much fun this is going to be!

  7. How great it is that this visit happened. I can feel the anticipation, trepidation, excitement in your slice. Looking forward to hearing more about your experience.

  8. Aww shucks! You make me feel special.

    I was thinking about you and Christy yesterday -- insanely jealous that you were together and I wasn't there. I'm glad it was a good day.

    I'm hoping Christy has you convinced to come to the All-Write Summer Institute!

    Someday we WILL all be in the same room together.

  9. Super exciting! I am so happy for both of you.

  10. That's so cool! I love the way you shared the process through the emails as the visit developed. I'm pretty jealous right now... I wish Iowa was just a little closer to Ohio so I could come see you too! :-)