Seven Years Later

I entered the large, paneled room in Zankle. I could imagine it hosting important gatherings with big-wigs mingling as the piano in the corner played Vivaldi. On this morning, seven summers ago, teachers gathered and I was one of them. I sat at on e fo the rectangular tables and introduced myself to the strangers who would be my classmates for the week. Our teacher, Mary, began. “This week, we will immerse ourselves in WWII. You will each be in a book club, reading a WWII historical fiction book. Each table group will also focus on an aspect of this time in history – the map, the music, the timeline, the vocabulary. Let’s get started transforming this room.” I wrote about that week HERE.

I enetered the whiteboard-covered classroom and asked how I could help. “I want my students to immerse themselves into aspects of WWII, before we start reading Historical FIction novels in a book club. Can you help we gather resources?” I smiled and agreedd to gather and post them to THIS PADLET, making it easier for the students to access.

Then I remembered back to that week, seven years ago when the teacher, Mary, did a read-aloud using two picture books – Rose Blanche and Angel GIrl. I ordered the first and it arrived at my house the next day. I checked the 2nd out from the public library. I found my green notebook filled with my 2015 Summer Institute handwritten notes. I set up my document camera and channeled Mary, recreating a read-aloud of two books told from differening perspectives about WWII. I sent THIS 18-minute SCREENCAST LINK for my colleague to share with her students.

I often hear how the blooms from the seeds teachers plant today with their students won’t ever be seen by them. Today, I understand this clearly. It’s taken seven years for the brilliance of a week with Mary Ehrenworth to be utilized by me, her student. Finally, the conditions are right and the seeds she planted in me are passing onto 7th grader readers in Virginia. Thank you, Mary.

Photo taken of the map my table-group made during the 2015 Reading Institute with Mary as our Staff Developer leader.

6 thoughts on “Seven Years Later

  1. franmcveigh says:

    Each institute week flies by, the learning is intense, and the application is dependent on so many factors. Congrats to the topic finally fitting. I’m sure you’ve used many other tips from Mary along the way!


  2. Susan Kennedy says:

    I’m so grateful to the boost the reunions and the institutes gave to our implementation of the units in our earlier years and the fresh eyes they give to them now. Sometimes that kernel needs longer to germinate.


  3. Trish says:

    Oh my gosh, this is always the way with incredible sessions at NCTE. They stew in my brain (Mary has delivered a couple of them) until the time is right for them to emerge in my practice. I love that you shared this with us. Padlet is an amazing tool, and the two-perspectives through read-alouds? Brilliant!


  4. Beth Sanderson says:

    I remember entering a similar room at TCRWP maybe six years ago and I sat at a table with a lovely teacher from Washington DC. We realized we had friends, neighborhoods and book love in common. We participated in a book club as part of Mary’s advanced morning session. Today I get to teach in a building with my brilliant friend Sally. Mary Ehrenworth plants seeds everywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

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