In collaboration, Rasha Hamid and Kelsey Sorum
March: How To Genre Study April: Poetry Genre Study May: Informational Genre Study June: Independent Writing Projects
A global pandemic was not in the scope and sequence for the 2019-2020 school year. As New York shifted into PAUSE, so did we.
A pause to process.
A pause to grieve.
A pause to think.
A pause to question.
A pause to reimagine.
We paused at the portal before us, and asked:
How do we make the work attainable to every family?
How do we make the work accessible, using resources families have?
How do we make the work relevant to every family?
These questions should always be there, whispering in the back of our minds. They are more urgent. Our attention to them, our efforts in answering them matter — now more than ever. We may always have more questions, but we do know this:
Everyone is a writer. Writing is not reserved for those with beautiful desks and bay windows overlooking forests or oceans. It isn’t reserved for classrooms, either. Writing is for everyone, everywhere, all the time. Writing is text messages, shopping lists, and love notes. Signs in windows, recipes, and emails.
Grounding ourselves in what we know, we leap through a portal, into a world where the foundation for all that we teach is immediately accessible, relevant, and transferrable. That for every child — every single one — writing can be done anytime, anywhere, with the tools they have, for purposes they choose.
But it’s about so much more than writing. From this foundation will come the work we do across every content area.
Mathematicians can do math anytime, anywhere.
Researchers can use the tools they have.
Readers read for so many reasons.
The work begins here and lives in the world at large. The work will continue when we are together again.
After teaching for 22 years in East Harlem, Washington Heights, Sudan, and Fort Greene, Rasha Hamid works to make the world a better place by collaborating with teachers of young children. You can follow her on Instagram at @teach_the_world_better and @swirlz1.