Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Day With Debbie Miller

Today I had the pleasure of listening to Debbie Miller in Warsaw Indiana. She is such a soft spoken speaker but she is mighty with her words and they pierce to the very being of a teacher's soul. This year has been a rough year, we have been thrown a lot of "new" stuff. Every administrator begins a conversation with, "I can't believe how much we've thrown at you all this year," and yet they still keep throwing...
I needed to sit and absorb what she had to say today. We get so bogged down with this crazed world we call education. We zoom around dibbeling and dabbeling, and TRCing and creating assessment after assessment, and before we know it we miss the point. We haven't stopped to listen to anyone, let alone the children in our classrooms.
I feel like a piece of salt water taffy stretched thin, but today I felt like someone started to walk me back to center. Debbie says that we must make this workshop all about being in the moment, planning surface or deep structure lessons that are explicit enough that they create the unpredictable. In this unpredictable situation we can come alongside children and guide them. It's about slowing down and listening to them think aloud, and modeling what that language is so that they can use it later. It's about creating a place of comfort that makes them believe that they are valued beyond measure, and that books have brought us to this epicenter. This is real teaching.
Here is what I have decided that I need to work on with my students:
-I would like to guide them more in their response in literature.
-We need to strengthen their partner work, really modeling this because I haven't done enough of it with my students.
-Sharing, we could stand to think more about the way that we share with one another.

I leave you with this quote that I loved from today:
"Sometimes we have to give children our words until they find their own."
-debbie miller
March 2009
I have more to share with you after Friday, you see Debbie Miller is coming to my school, and my classroom, and she will be working with my students. You'll pardon me if I am walking on cloud 9, but my hero is coming to town!

3 comments:

Amy said...

Wow! Lucky you. Lucky students. I'm waiting to hear more.

katied said...

Sarah- Enjoy every minute! She is awesome!! Can't wait to hear about it!

Brittney Kaye said...

I am jealous! I have heard how WONDERFUL Debbie Miller is. That's amwsome that she came to your school! :)