Now, a bit of my personal history with the Workshop Model. When I joined my district almost 10 years ago, they were fully entrenched in the Workshop, particularly with reading, and I had to play a bit of catch-up. I didn't receive any formal training on it, but I signed up for professional development, watched other teachers who were more confident in the model, and felt like I had a pretty good handle on it. I enjoyed it with my second and third graders. We had a routine. I was helping my students really become great readers.
And then I switched schools, I switched grade levels (finally, 5th!), and I completely abandoned the workshop model. I was new to the grade level, and I found it easier to follow the lead of the 3 other teachers at my grade level who had been teaching much longer and had been quite successful. And honestly, I was much more focused on learning a whole new curriculum, that I let other things that had worked for me previously, slip away.
So what's the reason I'm mentioning this now?
For the last 2 days I have been at my district's main office, with 40 other elementary teachers, principals, coaches... learning directly from Patrick Allen.
I feel inspired again. I feel excited for the upcoming school year!
And even better than that, my school district has a 3 year plan in place to re-introduce the workshop model and work directly with Patrick Allen and his colleagues. I know that we have time to learn the skills that have been so successful in other classrooms across the country.
This is why I teach! To feel excited about what can be done in my classroom and to feel like I'm reinventing my teaching style.