What more appropriate topic to begin with as we launch our website, write2learn.com, than to blog about our colleagues who have had a positive and enduring impact on our professional career. They were not assigned to us as part of a traditional mentoring program. They are relationships that bloom spontaneously. We had the good fortune of coming across these people as we moved through our teaching careers.
Just about ten years ago, Becky and I walked into our principal, Bhavna Sharma-Lewis’s office, to suggest that we become 5th grade teaching partners. Bhavna listened, and we like to think she realized the wisdom of our request, and so it was granted. Principal leaders like her don’t come along often. We thank her for her support and leadership. Soon after that we had the fortune of having Mary Greska join us as the building’s library media specialist. She keeps us laughing everyday.
Enter Dr. Tom McCann who at the time served as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum. After taking a two week summer writing class with him he volunteered to come into our classrooms. Eight years later and in a new position as an Associate Professor of English at Northern Illinois University he is still returning to our classes to mentor us and to work with our students. Thank you for your time. Tom also encouraged us and walked along side of us as we began taking our work outside the walls of the district. We hope we made you proud last year at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) conference.
Our circle of professional friends grew when we took a leap of faith and attended the three week Illinois Writing Project (IWP) summer leadership institute. We continue to enjoy being an integral part of the IWP and leave the monthly meetings energized. Thank you Steve Zemelman and Pat Braun for welcoming us into your group.
So, now we invite you to blog with us and share with the mentors and colleagues who have touched your lives.