Posted by: katie | January 23, 2010

On a break…hope to return soon!

The Washington, DC TAWL group is on a temporary break. We hope to resume meeting in June 2010. Please check back this spring to see what our plans are for future meetings.

Posted by: katie | August 19, 2009

October 8th is our next meeting!

“How might teachers take charge and improve what goes on in schools? I have a simple answer. They must change the world. And when they ask how they could possibly change the world, I have another simple answer – a little bit at a time. I suggest they start in their own classroom.”

Frank Smith in The Book of Learning and Forgetting

Our next meeting is October 8th at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington. The meeting time is 4:30 – 5:30, but please feel free to arrive early and stay late.

We have chosen Frank Smith’s The Book of Learning and Forgetting as our next text to read and discuss. We will read this book and discuss the overarching question “What is education for?”. We will discuss the first two sections, I – What’s Going on Here? and II – The Classic View of Learning and Forgetting (pp. 1-40)  for our September meeting.

I look forward to seeing everyone in October. I think this book will give us lots to talk about, think about and be inspired from. I know several people may have already read this book – it’s a classic, for sure! I am looking forward to rereading it under today’s current educational climate. We felt that it is a timeless book that will give us much to discuss.


Posted by: katie | August 7, 2009

Next meeting – August 13

What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity.

In the end there are no certain answers.

— Martina Horner

I hope you are enjoying summer and finding the time to relax, enjoy friends and family and catch up on pleasure reading as well as professional reading. Our next meeting is Thursday, August 13. We will finish discussing Ellin Oliver Keene’s book To Understand. I’ve found this to be a book that has really made me think, rethink, question and get excited about planning for the upcoming school year. I look forward to more conversation around this excellent book.

We will be choosing another book to read and discuss in the upcoming months. Please post any suggestions here, or bring the book to our next meeting. We’ve mentioned Linda Christensen’s new book Teaching for Joy and Justice, as well as Mary Cowhey’s book Black Ants and Buddhists. Be thinking about what book would inspire you as we begin another teaching and learning year!

Remember – 4-4:30 is time to catch up and chat, the meeting is 4:30-5:30, and then feel free to stay for dinner. I hope to see many of you there!

Posted by: katie | July 5, 2009

Join us on July 9 at Busboys and Poets!

“Conversation creates the conditions for us to

rediscover the joy of thinking together.”

-Margaret Wheatley

Our next meeting is July 9 at Busboys and Poets in Shirlingon. We will be discussing chapters 7-9 in Ellin Oliver Keene’s book To Understand. Please join us from 4:00 – 4:30 to catch up on what’s new in our teaching and personal lives, and then for our meeting from 4:30 – 5:30. If you would like to stay for dinner afterwards, there is usually a group that does this and continues our conversation.  See you there!

Posted by: katie | August 15, 2008

Welcome to DC TAWL!

“Teachers, new and old alike, need professional dialogue to keep the spirit of learning alive in the classroom as well as in their hearts.”

Sarah Costello

We hope many educators will join us on the second Thursday of each month at Busboys and Poets.

Our group today created a statement of who we are. We felt that it was important to have a clear vision of what our group is all about. This will help interested people decide if they would like to join us. Here is what we came up with:

The Washington D.C. area TAWL group is an organization made up of educators who come together through the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)  to network, discuss and support each other through stimulating conversation. We explore issues related to literacy, inquiry, critical literacy, new literacies, research, and pedagogy. Anyone interested in meeting with other area teachers in a rejuvenating, relaxing environment is welcome to join us!

We are discussing professional books, and keeping “conversation” an ongoing theme. The theme of “conversation”  can include these ideas and more:  how conversation and purposeful talk can impact purposeful conversations within our community of the children in our classrooms;  how it can focus our TAWL community; and how these connections through texts can facilitate our discussion.   Connecting a common theme with related professional books throughout several months will allow deeper discussion and higher level conversations, as well as providing time for reflection on our challenges and successes.

Our meetings will follow this basic structure:

-Moderator will open with a quote, question, thought or comment relating to our theme – conversation – we will discuss the book or books we are reading and our thoughts on the theme for approx. 45 minutes.

-Text sharing – please feel free to bring any text you would like to share with the group – we will share for approx. 15 minutes.

-Last Word – we will end with a volunteer saying a “last word” for the evening

At 5:30 the meeting will end, but those who wish to linger and continue the discussion over dinner are welcome to stay.

At the end of each meeting, we will ask for a volunteer to be moderator for the following meeting.

I’m looking forward to this exciting opportunity to learn and grow together!