A Letter for the 10th Anniversary of the Greater Madison Writing Project
…thank you for giving me the confidence to be myself in the classroom and beyond. Without the 2015 Summer Institute and the connections, experiences, and learning I began there, I don’t know where I would be right now, five (FIVE!) years later. Possibly not in the classroom any more. Certainly not feeling fulfilled.
Did the GMWP find me, or did I find the GMWP? I’m quite sure it’s impossible to untangle that web of causality, and I’m simply glad that it happened. In 2015, I limped into the Summer Institute feeling beaten down and demoralized. Our school district had just lost an operating referendum vote, Scott Walker had been reelected after all the Act 10 malarkey, and I was struggling to see the point in continuing to fight for public education. Four busy and amazing weeks later, I walked out of Olbrich Gardens with my head held high and a fire in my belly that hasn’t stopped burning since. (Admittedly, it has guttered and flared here and there.)
How does a motley group of educators become a professional home and a second family? One Write In, Write Out, Author’s Chair, Pints & Pedagogy meetup, Google Doc comment, and hug at a time. As an introvert with social anxiety, I am not a joiner by nature. But since my intersection with the Greater Madison Writing Project in 2015, I’ve found myself saying yes to so many social opportunities. “Yes!” to the boards of the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education and Human Restoration Project. “Yes!” to two summers (and counting) of facilitating Rise Up & Write. “Yes!” to I’m-not-sure-how-many-years of monthly meet-ups for ongoing teacher research. “Yes!” to becoming a better teacher, a better writer, and a better human being.
So, again I say THANK YOU to the Greater Madison Writing Project. Joining the 2015 Summer Institute was the best professional decision I ever made, and I look forward to many more decades of growth together.
Your faithful servant,
Skylar L. Primm