Monthly Archives: October 2015

How do you pose/wobble/flow?

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My colleague Antero Garcia and I have just published a book called Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction. In the book, we offer a framework for helping teachers intentionally take up stances in their practices we call “poses”; work through the difficulties, or “wobbles,” that are sure to emerge in the process; and then develop strategies for working toward “flow,” that always provisional state that marks growth toward, though not once-and-for-all mastery of a given pose. (That’s because in the ever-changing contexts of teaching, there’s always more to learn.) As you might be realizing, this framework pushes back firmly against the idea that there’s a set of best practices out there somewhere that just need to be implemented with “fidelity” (blech) and then you’ll be–presto!–the perfect teacher. Antero would want me to make you repeat after me: A pose is not a best practice. A pose is not a best practice. A pose is not a best practice. (Also best practice.Not a thing.)

Next week, my graduate students who are enrolled in my course “Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age” will be writing a bit about the poses they are taking up (or are aspiring to take up) in the area of critical digital literacy pedagogies. We’re reading Critical Digital Literacies as Social Praxis (Avila & Pandya, 2013) right now, and it’s making our brains hurt. But in a good way.

To work through our wobbles in this area, they’ll be writing to a series of prompts Antero and I include in template form in an Appendix to our book. You can find the template on the Teachers College Press website. You can also see the prompts below.

Then, coming up on Thursday, Nov. 12, 5pm, my students, Antero, and I will also be talking more about the pose, wobble, flow framework for teacher growth on National Writing Project radio.

Stay tuned next week to see what my students have to say in response to the following prompts from our template in Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction.

Pose, Wobble, Flow Template

In addition to taking on the poses outlined in this book, this template will allow you to identify your own poses and set guidelines for areas of your practice that you want to intentionally address and wobble with. While the template will certainly work as a tool for your individual reflection, we also encourage you to work through it col- laboratively with your own trusted professional learning community. Though each of you may take on different poses (or vary the nuances of similar poses), working on this with a group will allow you to hold one another accountable, share strategies for negotiating wobble, and celebrate moments of flow throughout the school year.

Name your pose here: ____________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

(Below, list the 3–5 key principles that are most important to this pose for you.)

• ______________________________________________________________________

• ______________________________________________________________________

• ______________________________________________________________________

• ______________________________________________________________________

• ______________________________________________________________________

On the next page, you will reflect on the importance of this pose to your development as a teacher and will record possible strategies for wobbling with it over the course of the school year.

Below, write a succinct explanation about why this is a necessary pose for you right now in your teaching. How will this pose help you grow as a teacher? What about this pose gives you hope for the powerful work in your classroom?

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Write down 2–3 reflective questions that you can revisit throughout the school year that will allow you to evaluate where you are in your stance with this given pose:

1. _____________________________________________________________________

2. _____________________________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________________________

Finally, describe some strategies you could try when you experience wobble that may lead toward some measure of flow in relation to this pose:

________________________________________________________________________
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Keep this template in a visible place so that you can revisit it frequently, maintain your commitment toward your pose, and gauge your professional growth.