Interesting, inspirational, and important professional development has saved my teaching life on many occasions. This past weekend, it happened again. I attended the Fall Conference of the Shenandoah Valley Writing Project and left with ideas, plans, and lessons I couldn’t wait to try out.
One of my favorites came from a young teacher, Sam Gesford, from Shenandoah County. He demonstrated a metaphor lesson that went like this:
If I were an a)____________ I would be a b) ___________ because c)_______________.
Possibilities for a) include:
- food item
- OR choose your own adventure
Patrick said, “If I were a vehicle, I would be a limo because I store very important things.”
Milee said she was Halloween because “you don’t want to be on my bad side!”
Khalil would be “a Tesla X Type because I go from 0-60 in 29 seconds.’
Students were encouraged to share their metaphors with their families. In Sam’s demo lesson, our writing ‘partner’ wrote a metaphor about our writing as a response. In class, I asked the students to ask an adult family member to respond with a metaphor. Danielle’s older brother wrote, “Your writing is a fan because it never stops.”
Addison’s Mom wrote, “Your writing is sunshine because it makes me feel warm inside.”
Some of the metaphors were more confessional…
“If I were a color, I’d be red because sometimes I rage really hard.” admitted Jake.
Sarah confessed, ” If I were a food item, I would be ice cream because I am cold-blooded.”
Metaphors are hard. They are especially hard for kids that are 11 and 12 years old. Sam’s lesson was fun and engaging and all of my students have a much firmer grasp on the concept then they did before. That’s what professional development should be – but so often is not.
Teachers teaching teachers. Teachers teaching kids. It doesn’t get any better than that.