Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why I Have This Blog

So, I've been doing this dinner blog for a couple of years now. And the idea came from a conversation with friends over dinner (Them: "We hate deciding what to cook." Me: "It's my favorite thing to think about!" Them: "Then just tell us what you're making!").

But the bigger idea of blogging in the first place? The willingness to put my too-full-of-dashes writing out there for anyone to see? That came from someplace else.

Four years ago, I joined the National Writing Project by taking part in Oakland Writing Project's summer institute. And everyone said it would change my life. And I pooh-poohed that, because, really, most life-altering events don't seem to take place in a conference room between the hours of 9 and 3.

But the thing about Writing Project is that it has a way of affirming the fact that the best kind of professional development is teachers learning from other teachers. That even though we haven't published books or spent time on the national speaking circuit, we still have lots and lots of valid and important things to say. And the whole process works in such a way that it's kind of this snowball effect: you're learning more about the world around you, and you're learning to express your thinking about it through stronger writing, and that pushes you to learn more and think differently and seek out new resources and better practices.

And it changes your life.

And so, while most of my Writing Project-related personality flourishes show up in my day job at school, I also came to embrace the idea that if I'm writing about LOTS of things I'm truly interested in, I'm going to be a stronger writing teacher. So this blog is my little non-education-related outlet for that.

So I'm sharing this, instead of this week's menu, because this weekend the National Writing Project is holding a Blog for NWP weekend. At first I wasn't going to participate -- most of the blogs are about smart things going on in classrooms. But when I thought about it, I realized that this silly dinner blog is here because of NWP too.

See, despite the evidence that NWP is a program that works, a program that raises achievement of students in classrooms of NWP teachers, funding has been eliminated at the federal level. And I understand the need to cut back and save money -- I do. But it makes no sense to me to remove funding for this program that offers such a HUGE bang for the buck simply for the sake of bragging about cutting earmarks. Doesn't it make more sense to invest in programs that have the best return on that investment? Huh...

So, anyway, this is my contribution to the weekend of blogs. I'll return to my regularly-scheduled dinner commentaries and recipes soon (trying a pad thai recipe tonight I'm excited about). But I wanted to get this out there. If you want to know more, is a good resource. And it wouldn't hurt to let your legislators know your thoughts, either.

Have a good weekend!

1 comment:

the allmens said...

Sorry to hear about the funding troubles. I'll do what I can. Keep writing!

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