Well, the big day is finally here. I've sort of dreaded this day for a long time, but now that is is here, it's not so bad. It's the start of our participation in the Local Sites Research Initiative. I'm organizing a study of high school writing in our area. This began last fall, actually more than a year ago. Our site had Teacher-Consultants (TCs) participate in the National Writing Project Scoring Conference, then our Missouri network hosted a scoring conference in September. It just felt like at our Ozarks site that we needed to use this knowledge that we were bringing back. So, Debbie Jones (and Thomas would have joined her but he was moving into his new house) led a Saturday Seminar on scoring. Then, Thomas led a session on scoring at his district's professional development day. That day must have caught the curriculum coordinator's eye. Thomas received excellent feedback. The next thing I'm doing is typing up a three-year plan for the district professional development based on scoring. By December, we were pretty sure that the district wanted to do this.
Then, there was a deadline from the NWP about the LSRI grant which would support the study of the effects of NWP professional development on students. I knew this would be a lot of work, but I also thought there was so much potential to be learned. We would do a study in ONE district; we had supportive administrators; we had the right facilitators; we had to apply for the grant.
And, we got it. And now, this week, after Institutional Review Board acceptance from the district and the university, and with meetings, we will meet the teachers we will be working with and hopefully gain consent for them to be involved in the study. We need 20 teachers. Then, on Friday, I'll attempt to obtain consent from a comparison school.
I actually feel less nervous than I thought I would. It's because I believe in what we do. I think the professional development stuff will be great. (trailing off because she never got back to this even though she wrote it Tuesday morning).