For some time after that, Invitations was like a bible to me. I would often reread a section in the morning before starting my day. That thought, strategy, or piece of advice from Regie would stay with me all day as I went about working with students. It guided my reflections and helped me put into practice many of the things I was learning. Regie was my mentor, and reading Invitations and her subsequent books became the next best thing to having her by my side to guide me along the way.
This fall I was delighted to pick up Literacy and Learning Lessons From a Longtime Teacher, Regie’s latest publication. In this book, Regie has consolidated her thinking, reflecting, researching, teaching, and collaborating into about one hundred powerful lessons. She has given teachers what I did on my own so many years ago – short lessons to think about as you go about your day. So once again I find myself starting my day with Regie. Before turning on my computer or getting my coffee (well, some days I have to do that first), I let Regie’s thinking in to help me reflect more deeply about my teaching practices.
I found the thinking in these lessons so valuable that I wanted to share them with my colleagues. So, on Fridays I choose one idea from my week of reading, paraphrase it, and share it with my colleagues through a short email. Many teachers have responded with connections to their own teaching lives, and some have acknowledged that the idea caused them to think about a teaching strategy in a different way. We seem to have less and less time to think through ideas together as colleagues, but Regie’s lessons provide us with a common thought for the week. It is one more way we are growing as a professional learning community. Thank you, Regie!