Under the wings of writers
MetadataShow full item record
This self-study examines teacher decision making from the perspective of a practicing teacher. In this qualitative action research study, I seek to identify and describe resources that influence my thinking while planning learning experiences in the English language arts for sixth-grade students. I collected data for 1 school year using a self-designed note-to-narrative-to-action process. This method consisted of using a jot journal for tracking daily confusions and insights related to practice, expanding these notes through weekly narrative reflections, and then acting on this record of understanding as a basis for framing daily lesson plans. This reflective approach to planning allowed me to identify reading as an essential aspect of my professional character development. As a result, I propose that self-study is a form of self-dialogue that can be especially supportive for teachers who are experiencing a sense of isolation in their school environments. I suggest that reading for pleasure and information infuses self- dialogue with a form of scholarship that expands thinking and community. Under the wings of writers a teacher can create a virtual peer group and the professional freedom to become the author of her own praxis. This study establishes that reading fiction and non-fiction can sustain and inform the work of teaching and renames planning as a conceptual tool for teaching instead of a minute-by-minute plan for implementation. I was not teaching a plan but acquiring a way of thinking about learning. This study will, therefore, contribute to the knowledge base in teacher thinking and planning in at least three ways: 1) by modeling a method of self-study that supports ongoing scholarship in the definition of teacher as professional; 2) by demonstrating teacher agency in the construction of a dependable community through association with the words of writers; and 3) by establishing the need for an approach to planning grounded in the personal/professional identity and integrity of the teacher.