Writing from My Heart and Not My Head


#sol20- May 12, 2020

A few weeks ago I saw that TCRWP was adding July sessions of reading and writing institutes. I have attended the writing institute twice (and been rejected for the reading one twice) and my summer was clearly not going to be the summer I pictured, so I looked at the email. The June and August applications had been available back in February and I will admit I felt a sad pang when I did not apply. Now this email had me wondering. Everyone’s summer was being turned around, I rationalized, but the June sessions were likely already over full and the August ones take place once I am already back at school (will that be a thing, I wonder). The July dates were newly announced, so I clicked through.

It turns out that the July sessions are only for newbies, so that narrowed my options- I could only apply for reading. Knowing it would all be via Zoom and for one week I rationalized that I could make the crazy timing work (it is 13 hours later here). I would still have a week once it was finished to readjust my body clock to local time.

I took the next step and opened the application. It was really only one essay question, asking which professional books have informed my practice and how. One question was manageable- I could do that I told myself. But, to protect my ego, in case I got rejected again I just couldn’t spend a lot of time agonizing over each word, I just had to write from my heart and not overthink it. I chose to write about the professional books that I had grabbed from my classroom to inform my reading instruction while we were moving to virtual learning (Reading Strategies, DIY Literacy, and Comprehension Connections and one I bought on my Kindle since, Start With Joy). It was a quick write-less than 10 minutes. I just shared why they were the books that I needed with me right now as I embarked on planning literacy for our team.  Then I pressed submit.

In retrospect, I knew I should have spent more time on it, but at that point, it was too late. A few days later I learned that the July sessions would start earlier in the day to accommodate people attending from Europe, Asia, and Africa, and that sort of felt like a good sign.

Last night I looked at the calendar and realized that although it felt like a long time ago that I had applied it really had only been 2 1/2 weeks and I knew from the past that it usually takes four weeks to find out anything. I began to feel like it would all work out and that I would get in. Then this morning… there was an email. I did get in and knowing I have that to look forward to made me smile all day! PD really keeps me energized and I am grateful to get to learn more to do better.  Now my heart and head will be more full!

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