The Importance of Community Slice of Life

I moved to a new school and new grade level this year and also  started working on a doctorate program this semester.  I vowed to not take on any extra commitments so I didn't overcommit myself.  Those of you who know me, know that I have a little problem with over commitment.  :) I started out really well...I didn't join the social committee, I didn't start an after school writing club, and I didn't volunteer for any committees.  However, early this fall, I got an email from Cathy Mere of Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community wondering if I'd like to teach a blogging class with her. We had presented at the Summer Academy in our district and several teachers showed interest in beginning a blog.  Whenever I get the chance to work with Cathy, I always say, "Yes!"  I love working with her and  learn so much.  So, I immediately forgot about my promise to not "join any clubs" and jumped on the bandwagon with her.  And I am so glad I did.

I looked forward to each night that we met.  The group came from different backgrounds:  classroom teachers, guidance counselor, teacher leader, and intervention teacher.  They all had something in common though; each of them wanted to connect with their students, parents and other teachers using technology.  It didn't matter how tired any of us were at the end of our school day, our time together rejuvenated us as we worked together and learned from each other.  That was the beauty of this group...everyone brought an expertise in one area or another.  So, even though this class started out as a place to learn how to blog, it became much more. We shared book titles, favorite websites, and strategies to use in our classrooms.

Once again, I am reminded of the power of community.  We spend so much time building community in our classrooms.  We know how important it is for students to feel safe to take risks, to have a place to share their thinking, and make mistakes.  As teachers, we need that support too.  When we embark on a new journey, we need to have others beside us to catch us when we stumble and cheer us on.  This group gave us that.  We carved out the time to think, play, experiment, and take risks.  We gave each other the support we needed to move forward.  Tonight as I watched one of the teachers excitedly launch her new website and student blog, I was thrilled for her.  I am so grateful for this group and excited to see them join the blogging community.  The students whose lives they touch are very lucky indeed.

Thanks to Stacey and Ruth for hosting Slice of Life Tuesday.


  1. Wow, you are busy! Best of luck with your endeavors. I love that you are teaching with Cathy and would love to join in that fun! I hope you share more of your learning together!

  2. Julie,
    I'm impressed that you made it home that evening and wrote a post. I was not as productive. Like you, I so enjoyed our time with the blogging group. It was the perfect mix of personalities and expertise. Making the last class a little longer worked well. The genuine excitement and sense of accomplishment as Laurie got her pages up and running made it obvious it was time well spent. We managed a few blog titles --- but mostly we managed energizing conversation. I always love working with you. I'll try not to drag you into any other schemes, but please call me if you need a partner in crime.

    By the way, the biscotti was a bonus.

    Thanks, Julie.

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