2.28.2009

Teacher Time and Spokane Sites

Spokane at sunset Thursday evening.

I just returned from the Northwest Inland Writing Project's annual spring teacher conference in Spokane. Learning new ideas for teaching, seeing old friends, making new friends, and getting a chance to do some poetry writing all contributed to a successful two days.I had the privilege of learning great teaching strategies from author and teacher Jeff Anderson on Friday. Anderson is the author of Mechanically Inclined and Everyday Editing, both excellent resources for building grammar, usage, and style with students in the writing classroom . Jeff led us on an entertaining journey into the creative world of parts of speech, apostrophes, and even punctuation! All of us were busy looking for punctuation in the most unexpected places by the end of the day! I also presented a workshop on using poetry and was inspired by the thoughts and poetry the participants shared.

To top off a full day a group of us took our guest Jeff to dinner at P.F. Chang's in downtown Spokane. You can never have too many lettuce wraps from P.F. Chang's! B (below) wanted Jeff to see the Spokane River falls so we took an unforgettable, brisk walk after dinner down trails and snow covered steps to a spectacular view of the falls close to the Monroe Street bridge. I can't believe I left my camera in the car!It is always a treat to spend time with my friends C and B . They were ready with their Starbucks, paper, and pens to do some serious writing this morning! For me the highlight today was to spend time in a workshop with Marti Mihalyi. Marti is a talented poet, inspiring teacher, and good friend. Each time I am back in a workshop with Marti I leave with more inspiration for putting words to paper and motivation to keep going with my own writing. I hope to polish some of my pieces I started and post them later.

I am energized when I attend conferences, but it is always nice to turn off the highway and find the long driveway home. I was told the dogs wore themselves out watching for me! It was comforting to feel a warm fire, pet the animals, and catch up on life with JEJ.

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