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We make a professional development community by looking closely together.

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51This process packs a punch because we do it IN COMMUNITY.  Check out these reflections after a large professional development.  Note the ways teachers were struck by the power of looking at the student work together.

“The depth of knowledge and care in the room was evident.”  

“Learning takes place in community.”  

“Both teaching and learning is accomplished through structured discussion.”

“Time flies when work is productive, meaningful, and shared.”

“The expertise in the room is greater than the knowledge of any one person.”  

“I was inspired by the way a collection of teachers were able to imagine and develop such meaningful approaches to teaching and learning from student work.”  

“What stands out to me is the collaborative nature of the process, how it opened up the piece (and my thinking) to many minds.”  

“We were able to say so many meaningful and positive things about the student’s work.”  

“The emphasis on collaborative conversation stood out for me.”  

“Sharing with each other was invaluable. Looking at the text and looking at it various ways.  Being open with each other."

These reflections come from a group of teachers who engaged in the process once, during a mandatory professional development.  For me, depth and resonance develop over time, when teachers commit to doing this process together, in any interest driven environment.  There is an intimacy that develops, a joy in sharing student work, leaning into one another’s noticings, wondering together.  This is the kind of collegiality that allows us to professionally develop each other, in the way the Writing Project does best... “Teachers are the best teachers of teachers.”

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