Building a Dream School 13/31 #sol23

Natasha at Tending Bulbs has issued the perfect March invitation to all of us to join her in building a dream school of fellow slicers.

What would you teach?

We’ll have to be a K-12 school, because I teach 12th-grade students. I could maybe teach 11th graders, but that is as young as I want to go. Just imagine the writing and reading 12th graders would do if they’d learned in a literacy studio or workshop classroom since kindergarten!

What’s your teaching superpower?

Persistence! Not with tasks, sadly, but with people.

What’s one poster you’ll have on your walls?

I have several images of and quotes from Angela Davis hanging on my classroom walls, and I’d bring those along.

What music will we hear coming from your classroom?

Lo-fi hip-hop study beats all day long except when I’m talking!

What will your favorite writing celebration of the year be?

A spoken word poetry slam, of course!

What food offering would you bring to the teachers’ lounge?

I’d bring a paleo treat to encourage everyone who is trying to cut out the grains. Maybe these Paleo Chocolate Chip Tahini Blondies?

What book will you share with us?

We’d study Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan’s Street Data as a group so that we’ll be ready to collect a rich array of data to showcase the deep learning of our students and help us determine next steps.

What tradition will you want our school to start?

An annual visiting writers program! We’d read and study their works first, and then they’d visit the school and lead writing workshops for students and teachers. Dream guests: Jason Reynolds and Clint Smith.

Which other slicer would you want for your work spouse?

All of the high school ELA teachers please! Since Trina will be teaching seniors next year, we could co-teach!

Thanks again to Natasha at Tending Bulbs for a super fun invitation and a great idea for a slice on a morning when I wasn’t feeling very inspired. Who else would like to accept her invitation to build a dream school?

Photo by Emily Ranquist on






14 responses to “Building a Dream School 13/31 #sol23”

  1. sallydonnelly11 Avatar

    WOW!! I love your answers to these questions. This one is sticking with me : Persistence! Not with tasks, sadly, but with people.
    With people? I am wonder if I do this or if I instead avoid or give up. Thanks for getting me to think more about this. Also, thanks for the book title suggestion.

  2. Erika Avatar

    I love the slice idea and will save it for a day I need it. I LOVE the book Street Data and would love to study it with students!

  3. Trish Avatar

    I’m doing this, too, Elizabeth, just not today! I’ve written the questions in my notebook, so it’s a done deal. Thanks to you for passing on Natasha’s great idea.

    1. Trish Avatar

      And Angela Davis is one of the GREATS, someone whose words should be on EVERY wall!

  4. margaretsmn Avatar

    Thanks for the slice idea as well as all of your honest answers. Imagine seniors who have had workshop all of their school lives?! I teach the littles and will stick with them.

  5. arjeha Avatar

    Wow! What learning would take place in this school. I love the idea of an author on the road program. Students can and do learn so much from visiting authors.

  6. WriterTammy Avatar

    This post is so much fun!

  7. Terje Avatar

    What a great invitation for a slice. I enjoyed reading your answers. I second your motion to initiate “An annual visiting writers program!” and would not turn down the treat you offered.

  8. […] grade: Elisabeth Ellington at […]

  9. Natasha Avatar

    Yay! So glad to have you as part of the school! I’ll look forward to hearing stories about your cats over lunch. I love the idea of a visiting writers program and a poetry slam. Let’s get our students together for your kids to mentor my kids in writing poetry for a poetry slam. 🙂 Have you seen the movie Louder Than a Bomb? (about kids competing in a poetry slam in the Chicago area) It’s one of my very favorites.

  10. Dream a Lil’ Dream – Living Workshop Avatar

    […] 12th grade: Elisabeth  at […]

  11. Trina Avatar

    I would LOVE to co-teach with you. Your school sounds fantastic – one where I would want to be a learner and teacher.

  12. Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf Avatar
    Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf

    Wow—I wish I could have been in this hypothetical classroom (or even one like it) when I was a student, frankly! I loved reading this—thank you for sharing, Elisabeth!

  13. cmargocs Avatar

    After writing about being one of the old ladies on my campus, I started wondering about a school run by all over-fifty teachers and admin. I think it’s an experiment worth trying, though I’d miss the enthusiasm and new ideas from newbie teachers. Hey, that might just be my next post…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: