I've been participating in UNCCWP Summer Institues since 1999. In fact, I often mark years by the Summer Institutes, for example, thinking back when someone ask me when such and such happened to the year that X happened in SI. That may be a little weird, but I'm putting it out there because I'm trying to explain here how much this experience has meant and does mean to me.
There's just something powerful and amazing about a group of teachers voluntarily coming together for six hours everyday over the coures of weeks to think this hard about what happens in our classrooms. We almost lost SI in the spring of 2011. I still remember Lacy, Lil and I sitting in Lil's office, crying and cursing because the NWP budget had been cut. We'd already invited 18 amazing teachers and we didn't have the money now to run the program. We scrambled and rearranged and made it happen, but we didn't know about this year.
But SI 2012 DID happen. It's still happening right now, even though tomorrow is the last day. It happened in ways we've never done before. In ways we couldn't have imagined. And it is one powerful, amazing group of teachers. So, am I nostalgic tonight? You bet I am, and I'll not apologize for it. Because these people came together, I have a stack of blog posts and thinking and ideas and passion that will fuel me for the coming school year. I have a new groups of amazing colleagues that I honestly call friends because we have spend this time inquiring, puzzling, furrowing our brows and out loud laughing together. We have blogged and tweeted, which was especially important to me because I have not been able to share the physical space this past week.
This group has reminded me yet again what Writing Project means to me!
Thank you SI 2012! See ya'll at Amelie's tomorrow for open mic!