Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Friday, September 19, 2014

Having A Great Writing Kind of Day Tracking the Movement of the Mind with Gretchen Bernabei

Gretchen Bernabei and Maureen Ucles
Today was a good day because we were in for a real treat.  Gretchen Bernabei came to SBISD to share her research and wisdom with us.  She has a wide variety of knowledge and tried and true practices in the teaching of writing.  I have been privileged to go to her workshops and read her numerous books for many years now.  Each time I attend one of her workshops, I learn something new.  Now, I as in the past, but more so than the past, I shout it from the rooftops.  Gretchen's work is authentic and truly priceless.  For anyone who teaches, you can adapt her strategies and process with all and in all subject areas.  If people only knew the value of her work, and many, many do, they would wait at the door for hours and hours like people do at Best Buy before the latest iPhone or Play Station product.  Many teachers ask me to help them with ideas for teaching writing.  Without hesitation, I recommend her books and ideas.  I use many of her ideas with students and teachers in the workshops and classroom demonstrations.  During Saturday camps, we use some of her kernel essays and BADABINGS.  I find her work invaluable in my teaching life.
In addition to being such a great resource, I have found Gretchen to be quite approachable.  Down to earth is the best way to describe her.  She is a teacher at heart.  She is a real live teacher who wants to share her experiences with others. She knows that we are all in this together and we may as well help each other out. I have shared my work with her and the different ways that I have used her work.  She listens and responds authentically.  That is one of the many qualities that I admire.
Today people were amazed at her generosity.  She shared many her ideas encapsulated in a zip drive. We downloaded lots of resources. That may have surprised many people here.  It is, not in the least, surprising to me, as this is standard practice for Gretchen.  Ever since I have gone to her sessions, she has done this.  I love this and I try to do the same with the people that I encounter.  She is a great example.

Today started out completely stormy and wet.  I trudged through some serious Houston rainy day traffic.  I left my house  an ungodly hour just to arrive on time.  I wanted to be prepared to receive all the many blessings that Gretchen would bestow upon our group.  Today, as I shut down my computer and got ready for my trek home, I feel fortunate to have spent the day with Gretchen and my friends.  I feel refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated(pitchfork!). We learned together, laughed together and shared the gift that I love(pitchfork!). We shared the many gifts that writing and conversation will inspire.  Great day, great moments, totally episodic (pitchfork!)!

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