"Writing is waiting for a place to happen." -Jeff Anderson
A group of hungry teachers being served plates of catered hotel food is probably not the most receptive of audiences, but it seems that nothing gets Mr. Jeff Anderson down. There is something about the combination of his height and his goofy enthusiasm that makes him inspirationally contagious It helps that he begins his presentations with uplifting songs (a trick that I plan to remember).
Mr. Anderson connected to the conference theme (walking in others shoes) by having us reflect on the conditions we needed to write and connect that to how we create places for our students to write. The concept wasn't an especially new one among the audience at my table; they all had specific ways that they worked to create places for their students to write.
What stuck out most to me was a comment Mr. Anderson made about making our actions conscious. He said that writing is a path to this consciousness. Writing makes the abstract more concrete, and students need a place where they feel confident to explore and learn this process.
For those curious minds wondering, "What the heck was the song that he used?" It was "Some Nights" by Fun. The key lyrics he used to spur on audience reflection...
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Also, let's face it, this song stays with you...for days. Happy writing!