One of the initiatives that came out of this summer’s WPA Directions work has to do with engaging in systematic dialogue with other teachers and administrators about our common interests and shared work. To that end, CWPA members are going on the road!
CWPA President's blog
As I mentioned in the last few entries in this blog, occasionally we on the WPA Exec Board hear about projects that WPA can or should take up -- from members, from folks we talk to in other venues, and so on. It’s easy to see these big problems and think that we should tackle them whole hog – fix something, for instance, like “the perception of writers and writing.” But realistically, it’s impossible to tackle those huge things all at once.
Several years ago, at a meeting with people from all academic disciplines, I mentioned that I was Vice President of CWPA. After the meeting I was chatting with one of the attendees, another writing teacher, who was encountering some challenges in his school. He opened the discussion of these challenges by saying, “WPA should…”
As part of the WPA Directions initiative that I've written about in previous entries, the WPA Executive Board also took some time at our meeting in Minneapolis to identify what we see as CWPA's values. I'm including those here - if readers have any feedback for the EB, please use the "comment" feature to register it! We'll use these values as an umbrella to focus the ideas that came out of WPA Directions submissions -- and again, more on that soon. (Click "read more" to see these... they're in the full post!)
A query on WPA-L this morning: "How many postcards were submitted?"
I mentioned some numbers last week, but here's a new one that we're really excited about: 550 or so! That's the number of WPA Directions postcards that were submitted by conference attendees where they shared flashes of insights and ideas for WPA to take up in the short- and medium-term.
Through this WPA conference we've been collecting feedback from attendees about sparks of insight, ideas, and future projects that CWPA might pursue based on what they're hearing, experiencing, and thinking about at the conference. The ideas have been TREMENDOUS -- no surprise from this smart group! So far, here's what has emerged as possible foci for future CWPA initiatives:
As I write this in my office in Michigan, some numbers I think about:
The WPA workshop is about to kick off its first full day in Minneapolis, where Chris Anson and Carol Rutz will work with 30 incredibly lively, smart, interested participants
About 260 people are preparing to arrive for the WPA conference, which begins on Thursday, where they’ll talk with incredibly smart, interested, engaged, colleagues
About 1500 – maybe more! – people are reading through WPA listserv posts as they settle into their days