|The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by TWO WRITING TEACHERS|
Although I learned a lot of cool things at the Illinois Reading Council Conference, the best thing about this kind of professional development is the connections it fosters.
So far, six people who attended my session have contacted me for follow-up information. Some of who have shared their own ideas with me in return for requesting additional resources.
A friend I used to work with very closely who has moved and now teaches in another town attended a session I was attending just to steal a few moments to catch up.
The morning after I returned from the conference, I was invited to go to breakfast with three teachers from another district (one had also attended IRC) to share what we both gained from the conference with the other two teachers.
Today, I brought back copies of Words in the Dust for two of my teacher-friends at school.
I also invited the class of one of those teachers to join mine while I shared a few highlights from the conference (the inside scoop on Shusterman’s latest books and the story behind Words in the Dust). Not only did that connect me even more closely to that teacher, but I also built connections with another entire class of students. In addition, my students gained a connection with the other teacher, who shared some of her husband’s experience when he was stationed in Iraq years ago.
What I learned at the conference inspires me. The connections I am building as a result are my fuel.