Opening Camp Rewrite for its First Season of Summer Learning
Last night, I wrapped the last of the professional learning experiences I’ve been facilitating during this school year, and it was a perfect sort of segue into the summer. I met with colleagues I’ve been learning beside for years, and we spent much of our time together talking about the memories we keep as practitioners. We spoke about the moments we try to hold onto, the learning journeys we take individually and together, and teaching as something that is far more than a vocation that serves children. It’s a deeply personal expedition that needs to serve each of us who teach and lead as well.
That’s how the best of my own professional learning has felt over the years, and this has been by design. Summer has always been a perfect time for slow and thoughtful professional learning. It’s when I put myself in airy spaces with colleagues who don’t need to rush. We take our time. We linger over the things we’re reading, gathering in communities that aren’t disrupted by bells, crumbling sub schedules, tight agendas, or drills of any kind. We dress comfortably, speak candidly about the knotty problems we’re riddling with, and realize together that what initially seemed mundane about our teaching lives is actually deeply meaningful. Given the time to share our learning stories beside friends in the field, we realize things we might not have otherwise. This matters.
Summer is when we share our works in progress with one another, and most importantly–we reflect together. We talk about what we know for sure, and we share our good work in service to one another. We also think about what we might do differently, if we had the chance to create or teach or write something all over again. If we’re fortunate, we return home feeling seen. Restored. Rejuvenated. And we remain connected to our learning community as we prepare for the new school year.
This is the kind of professional learning experience that Rebekah O’Dell, Matt Johnson, and I wanted to create for all of you this summer. This is how we want to learn this summer. It’s how we want our learning to feel and how we want to leave you feeling as you ready yourselves for the new year, too. So, we spent a part of this spring scouting out the perfect place to set up camp. We talked about the experiences we would offer, the guests we’d invite to join us fireside, and most importantly– the vibe we wanted to create and sustain.
This week, we’re opening Camp Rewrite for its first summer season, and we hope you’ll join us there.
Each Monday (June 19th-August 14th), campers will receive a link to a recorded professional development session and resources from Rebekah O’Dell, Matt Johnson, or myself. Each will relate to a specific topic, and campers can access and explore them anytime, anywhere throughout the summer.
We plan to share the best of what we know about the following, and a bunch of new resources and tools to support your work around these themes, too:
- Community Building in the ELA Classroom
- Revising the Way We Teach Vocabulary to Meet the Needs of Readers + Writers
- Literacy for All and Caring at the Core
- Revising the Way We Use Mentor Texts
- Best Practices for Grammar/Language Study (A sneak peak at my new book)
- Revising Independent Reading Practices
- Feedback and Assessment
- Multimodal Composition…and Comprehension
- Pedagogical Documentation
Rebekah, Matt, and I will be available throughout each week to really dig into each of these themes, share personal connections and our own works in process, and help all of you contextualize the ideas we’re exploring, too. This will happen in our Camp Rewrite Substack. You can register and subscribe right there, to join us.
Campers will also be invited to weekly fireside chats with special guests who plan to share what they know for sure about those topics and themes, as well as what they’re uncertain about, what they’re rethinking, and how they’re rewriting important parts of their work or even, their own lives. These interactive sessions will provide a chance for all of us to catch up, talk with one another, and chase good questions together.
These are some of our confirmed guests:
- Matt Kay and Dave Stuart Jr.
- Kate and Maggie Roberts
- Nawal Qarooni
- Kari Roan
- Sarah Zerwin
- Dan Ryder and Gary Heidt
- Trevor Bryan
- Shawna Coppola and Sherri Spelic
- John Arthur
Finally, Matt, Rebekah, and I will each host one live event where we reflect on how we would revise one of our popular books today based on what we’ve learned since 2020:
Matt Johnson plans to reflect on his book, Flash Feedback.
Rebekah O’Dell will reimagine a bit of Writing With Mentors.
And I’ll share some thoughts about what I might change if I could write The Writing Workshop Teacher’s Guide to Multimodal Composition all over again.
- The total cost for camp is $180.00 and we’re running an early bird discount until May 5th. Campers can register for $144.00 until then.
- That said, if you know me at all, then you know that I have a deep appreciation for the cost of professional learning and the need to make things as affordable as possible for teachers who already donate a good portion of their salaries back to their organizations and the students they serve. Sponsorships are available, and if you need one, drop me a line. We can make that happen.
- Similarly, if you are willing to donate a bit of extra cash above your own registration fee, those monies will be used to sponsor other colleagues. Let me know if you’re interested in being a donor as well.
We promise to pack your digital backpacks with resources, tools, and enough refreshment to keep you satiated throughout the next year. We hope that the connections you make within our community are sustained well beyond them, too. We’re excited to connect and unwind into this kind of learning with you.
I’ll see you around the fire, all!