Monday, July 11, 2016

And It Begins...

I'm sitting at home.
It's silent.
I breathe in and and out.
I'm processing.

Today I spent the day with amazing educators.
We wrote together.
We shared.
We asked questions.
We listened.
We began our journey together.
The NVWP ISI (Northern Virginia Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute) is an intense and life changing four weeks. This is my third time participating in it and it remains a powerful experience.

Our day begins with yummy gourmet snacks and managing the minutiae, like parking passes and paperwork. That's followed with morning pages...silent time to write. Settle in and write. What a gift...time to write! Here's a little of what I wrote:
Lauren Jensen enthralls us with her wonderful presentation on profile writing.
We jump right in, partner up and begin interviewing each other. Listening and learning someone's story is compelling. I found the process exciting and productive and I'm busily writing and revising Matt's profile. It's a big responsibility to share someone's story and I want to tell his story in a creative and interesting way. He deserves it.

After lunch I spoke about blogging and twitter and how both of those things have changed me as a teacher. I am hopeful that more teachers will try twitter and broaden their PLN. We are blogging at NVWP ISI and I am confident that this will lead to more teacher bloggers in the world.

We ended the day with our writing groups. My writing group is trying something new! We are going to be a hybrid group of online meetings and face to face meetings. Today we shared our expectations and made some plans. I'm nervous and excited to see where this will lead us.

Leaving room 447...
I think about all I've written today.
I think about the people.
I think about the tech problems.
I think about the traffic.
I think about the laughter we've shared.
I think about the questions we are asking.
I leave room 447, ready to return tomorrow.

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it.
Join us at Two Writing Teachers.


  1. This is just so wonderful! I love your writing; it tugs at the heart strings.

    1. Whoa, that icon. Guess I haven't used this account in 8-9 years!

  2. I love how you use poetry, prose and pics to tell a story. Very cool. #FeelingLuckyWeAreProfileBuddies!

  3. Great post and great first day:) Thanks Michelle.

  4. Powerful snapshot of our first day! I absolutely agree; the day was multifaceted and I experienced an interesting, seamless merging of unpredictability and intentionality.

  5. I love the idea of writing profiles. I'm going to incorporate this into my thinking. Did they discuss any articles or books on how best to write profiles? Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  6. What an exciting journey for you! I hope that one day I can partake in a project like this. Thank you for letting us take a sneak peek at your journal. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. Happy writing! ~Amy

  7. It sounds like this is going to be a very fulfilling time spent writing. Enjoy and share with us in the future some of your writing and learning.

  8. Sounds like you are off to a great start!!

  9. Oh, Michelle, what an opportunity "to write, to learn, to grow." I always wanted to attend a summer writing project . . . but something tells me that I missed that window. Wonder if they ever accept retired teachers? I'm so envious of your next four weeks. I'll be here, following your journey. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

  10. What a great first day! Looking forward to so much more. I'm glad you also feel the weight of writing our peer's introductory profiles. I sure hope I can convey a bit of truth in Natalina's story!

  11. Writing Project Summer Institutes are the best! Your writing took me back to UCDavis, summer of 2011. Best summer institute ever. Forever changed my practice and my life, through relationships forged that month. Enjoy every minute!

  12. We are on the same path Michelle. Today I'll be back with our HVWP summer and it will be so good to be writing with our new Institute tomorrow morning, documenting our YWPs and co-facilitating an Open next week. What a gift!!!! So glad that you put me in our circle.
    Bonnie K.

  13. What a wonderful way to spend summer. I have a one week writing workshop coming up, but 4 weeks sounds blissful.

  14. This really brings the learning experience of a writing project summer institute to life. I attended the summer institute of Buzzards Bay Writing Project (in MA) a few years ago. It was a powerful, very worthwhile learning experience. I am intrigued by the profile writing. I think it's a great idea to have a blog for sharing during the institute. Twitter and blogging have been great professional learning experiences for me.

  15. Wow four weeks! That profile writing sounds like a challenging and an interesting exercise. I have never participated in a project. Still looking for something like this near me. Enjoy and share your joy!

  16. I loved that line in your notebook: "I want to be honestly vulnerable." Such big steps are happening for you this year, Michelle! And what a packed day you just described. The mind must have been racing last evening. Enjoy every bit!

  17. Such a wonderful experience for you and all those lucky teachers present there, Michelle!

  18. Writing project summer institutes are life-changing. I've done the Ohio Writing Project summer institute once - right before starting my first teaching job in 1991. Maybe I'll do it again!

  19. The Minnesota Writing Project began this week as well. I am excited for those writers. My writing group which began years ago at MWP is meeting next week to talk and share writing. An amazing process and always amazing people to meet.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. This is my third attempt to reply! I love how you tell stories. #FeelingLuckyToBeYourProfileBuddy

  22. wow yours is 4 weeks!? thats awesome! i just finished in the inland northwest for NWP and it was only 2 weeks!


Please share your thoughts. I love comments!