Sunday, October 31, 2010

Teachers are Awesome

There is no doubt about it - there are a heck of a lot of seriously dedicated, awesome teachers out there.

Yesterday morning in Sydney was gorgeous. The type of Saturday when a walk in the park or along the beach seems like the perfect thing to do. Or perhaps a picnic or barbecue with friends.

But despite this glorious spring weather beckoning, 65+ teachers headed to Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Forestville to attend an ALEA North Sydney professional development event on Children's Literature. The ALEA North Sydney group hold these events on various topics relating to literacy teaching four times each year, and without fail they are always well attended.

I gave a talk on enticing reluctant readers and the Lightning Strikes series published by Walker Books and Dr Alyson Simpson explored reading and responding to children's literature, giving many practical classroom ideas for the attendees to try out.

There was such a buzz in the room - such wonderful enthusiasm for children's lit, for teaching, for improving literacy, and for finding the right book. I felt privileged to be involved.

Special thanks to the hard-working ALEA North Sydney committee, especially Wendy Bean, Kathy Ferrari and Helen Pearson.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

There is a lot of talent out there ...

There are so many talented young writers out there. It never ceases to amaze me - truly. And last week when I was doing workshops with some amazingly clever and motivated young people at Brewongle - a NSW Department of Education Environmental Learning Centre and Bush Retreat - I was amazed yet again!

Holy guacamole, the kids were were amazing! They had talent by the bucket load.

What a classroom!
 This writers' camp is held each year and it is becoming a favourite event with me. Simon French, Susanne Gervay and James Roy were there also, charged with the happy duty of inspiring these fantastic kids.

Tough gig - but, hey, someone has to do it!