Cambridge Week 3: “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” Isaac Newton

A “bridge” letter from my present day self to my future dr. self 🙂

June 25, 2018 or as they write in England 25.6.18

Dear Dr. Teston,

This is your third week in Cambridge. You have been writing postcards to everyone except me. I have been waiting patiently to hear form you. I notice that you have been observing, listening, writing, reading (and more reading), questioning, talking, thinking. Sometimes the articles you read sound like a different language, the language of PhD.

While you are studying teaching about teaching and learning about teaching, you are also analyzing coaching. I have noticed from your pictures that you keep running into bridges as you journey through England. Bridges in Cambridge, London, Oxford…there is a metaphor here that needs exploration.

What role do you play in bridging the gap between theory and practice? Who will listen? You often feel that you are trying to break down walls. You are stuck between two worlds…so why not just build a bridge? Not everyone will want to travel on your bridge. Not everyone will agree. Many will stay on one side or the other. But what if your bridge helps others. As Martina McBride sings… “build it anyway”.

Bridge from Student to Teacher: You are so blessed to have this time to watch new teachers joining the profession. You are surrounded by palettes and canvases already painting a picture of their future teaching. As an adjunct, you get to help form their definitions of literacy. As an educator, you could become their future employer.

Bridge from Pre-Service Coaching in Cambridge to Pre-Service Coaching at Home: So your brain is racing. How can you keep the momentum for coaching moving forward? They have been receiving coaching during the summer…why stop? Can you build a bridge between this experience and their next field experience? What would this look like? What model could be created? Would they want the support? Are current coaches willing to support them? Work on this…

Bridge from Pre-Service Coaching to Inservice Coaching: I know you already want to go to their graduation! You want to watch them enter into their first jobs! Since they have had such a positive coaching experience, can the bridge you build in field experience translate to coaching new teachers? Why do we always take a mentoring stance with new teachers? Follow their journey…maybe longitudinally???

Bridge from Teacher to Peer Coach – You know, while you are thinking so hard over there, why don’t you add a new component to your coaching institute? Not everyone has to leave the classroom to coach, you know. Why don’t you create a Peer Coaching Institute within the Summer Cadre. Full time coaches and teachers who want to peer coach from the classroom could learn side by side—they could even support the new teachers!

Bridge from Mrs. Teston to Dr. Teston – Get to work. Put on your hard hat. You have a lot of learning to do and ideas to implement and bridges to build.

With Love,

Mellissa

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2 thoughts on “Cambridge Week 3: “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” Isaac Newton”

    1. It was such a wonderful experience. I did not get to travel much in my early years because my mom was battling cancer and I had my first child very young. At 50 years old I am getting to experience and do things that were not available to me at 20. I appreciate every minute of it.

      Liked by 1 person

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