Roz Taught Me

Saturday, April 21, 2018

     This post is a celebration of the things that Dr. Roz Linder taught me before she left us this past winter.  I'm still so saddened by the loss of her joyful spirit, but the gifts she gave freely to the world are still visible every day.

     I first saw her in person with a group of writing leaders from my district.  We went to a workshop in Chicago in 2015, and gathered before a woman who inspired us to become better writing teachers.


     Roz's workshop happened at the beginning of my professional sketchnoting experience.  I brought a pad of paper and markers, and "sketchnoted" her session.  I had been practicing my sketchnoting skills as a reader for private use in a journal.  Roz actually complimented my notes, and when I got home I thought, "Perhaps I should share these with my staff."  Since then, I always sketchnote at conferences and share the notes via Twitter for my coworkers back at school.  Because it became easier to use my iPad, Roz remains the only conference I have ever sketchnoted on paper.  But, you could say that she helped me formalize my plan of sharing my learning with others.  Thanks, Roz.


     One of the things that really resonated with me from that particular conference was the idea of establishing context when writing an essay, and then the idea of strong evidence based responses.  She helped me find my direction when coaching teachers in writing, and in strengthening my feedback with students.

     Over the years, I have still found myself talking about the little cards she passed out at that workshop, where she had us know the pieces of an essay, but then use those pieces flexibly depending on the card we randomly received.  She really helped me open my mind to how to promote non-formulaic writing.  I still have the card I used to write an essay that day from Roz.

      Writing with Voice is NOT a Unicorn, but Roz really was.  She was passionate, and intelligent, and joyful, and kind.  She was a blessing to the world, and we will miss her.