It's the first day of the Summer Orientation. We are sitting in the new Collaboration Classroom at Missouri State. It's the first time I've heard this many fingers pecking the keyboards in the orientation. Normally, it's one or two with personal computers. I see four people handwriting and I wonder how this will affect freewriting by composing at the computer. Will people Fellows write, unhibited, like in the passage Keri read from Write to Learn? Will they write without assessment? Without heed to structure and content, but simply write, whether right or wrong.
Will they write without assessment?
I do not know if my student will ever write without assessment. Well, I know they will write, but they will write for feedback. It's hard, it's really hard, to think about not writing for the grade, and that's what I'm talking about when I talk assessment. My students hardly write for any audience but the teacher. I don't want to write about work...and I feel like that's where this is headed. I want to write about the first day of the Summer Institute and this orientation, and how in less than three months the 16 new faces in this room will be my friend, my colleague, and part of my professional learning community. And I think back to the past summers and all the teachers since the mid-1970's who have participated in a summer institute and who's classrooms have been changed because of it. I think about this network of people who make teaching professional. And here I go again--back to the loop of writing about work.