Trepidation is defined as a feeling of fear about something that is about to happen, apprehension. This word perfectly describes me when I think about tomorrow. Wednesday, I will be working with teachers and the topic is writing. That should not be a problem. I have been doing PD in schools for the last four years. Presenting is not causing my trepidation.

Trepidation arises because this PD is to be delivered during the teachers’ planning period. First of all, using a plan period does not make teachers happy. Trepidation sets in because I am to deliver information on teaching writing in about forty-five minutes. Really? What can I do to make a difference in that amount of time? I think this will only frustrate the teachers. Trepidation takes over since I don’t know anything about how they teach writing. All I know is “we need help in writing instruction.”

Thursday and Friday will be spent modeling writing lessons in every classroom. Hopefully, I have selected lessons that will demonstrate something useful. My motto is “I am teaching the writer, not the writing.”

At the end of the month I will be back to model lessons once again, and a follow-up with the teachers on their planning period. My final work in this building will be an all day PD with the staff a week after my second round of modeling. I hope this is not a recipe for disaster. I hope this will whet the teachers’ appetite for more information.

Think of me tomorrow. I will let you know what happens.


13 thoughts on “Trepidation

  1. I understand your trepidation; I’ve felt it too often myself. I’m glad to hear your day went well. Lucky teachers to have you in their classrooms.

    • Thanks for asking! Actually it was a good day. Some of the teachers are eager to learn more about teaching writing. I will tell more after I work in their classes the next two days.

  2. I’m with Kristy. I’d love to be at that workshop. I’m sure they will learn tons and be inspired by your love of writing. I understand your trepidation, but my guess is that once you start talking to these lucky teachers, you’ll be able to see what they need, just like you’d see with students. Have fun!

  3. You will be GREAT! I feel the trepidation. I know trepidation. I understand trepidation. But you will listen to their needs and wet their appetite for more learning! Best of luck to you — not that you need it. You wrote about your fears – now shake that trepidation right off and leave it on the floor.

  4. I would LOVE to be a teacher showing up (even during my plan period) to hear from your for 45 minutes. My only complaint would be that it is not a long enough time period. Just the fact that you are already aware of the teacher perspective and concerned about giving them what they need means that you are sure to be well received. Teachers can sense that kind of teacher-friendly attitude! I hope those teachers really know how lucky they are!!

  5. I agree about the food! Perhaps you can approach tomorrow’s session as just a light “preview” of what you hope to show in your modeling — point out some of the most important things they should watch for and explain your philosophy. You could also design and give some quick poll questions to see where they are in their beliefs and practices about teaching writing. (Try for real-time polling, if you don’t already know about it!) The modeling will be the valuable part anyway, and then they won’t feel like they’re having a lot thrown at them. Good luck! They are lucky to have you!

  6. Definitely bring chocolate. We will always show up for chocolate. πŸ™‚ Modeling best practice is always helpful. Emphasizing the writer over the writing can never hurt. Good Luck!

  7. When you provide PD with a β€œI am teaching the writer, not the writing.” mindset, it is sure to be effective.
    I like Tam’s idea about the food. Maybe some fruit or veggies to nosh on.
    Good luck (though you won’t need it)!

  8. Tam says:

    Good luck to you, Elsie. Can you get hold of some food to pass out at the beginning of this “planning period?” Once they start listening to you, too, they will relax. You tell it like it is–the “little” things in life mean a lot. Let us know how it does go.

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