professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Learning from the best

Three days at the Heinemann Boothbay Literacy Retreat was refreshing in so many ways. Of course, the weather was literally a breath of fresh air. Cool temperatures, brief bits of rain late at night and early in the morning left the lawn and plants glistening in the sun. At night, the ocean breezes through the trees provided a constant susurration. Add in terrific seafood (I posted plenty of pictures of those), and it was a lovely time.

But there is so much more to the retreat than the atmosphere outside. It is what happens inside that truly is phenomenal. With a nod to Hamilton, "this is the room where it all happens." Our room of tables filled with eager teachers representing a wide range of experience, of geography, of backgrounds all come together in a celebration of reading and writing. The faculty line-up is a Dream Team: Kylene Beers, Bob Probst, Penny Kittle, Linda Rief, and Chris Crutcher. Add in some of us fortunate enough to come as special guests: yours truly, Kwame Alexander, and Amelia VanName Larson, and the 3 days fly by all too quickly.

Linda Rief's invitations to write early each day resulted in many of my blog posts over those days. And I tried to do screenshots and tweets and Facebook posts of all the smart stuff whizzing past me as well. But there is no way to capture the magic of being IN the retreat. Of sharing writing and drawing and reading and thinking. Of meeting new friends. Of reaching out to others. Of being with people all taking the same risks you are, baring souls, sharing laughs, wiping away tears.

Go back and search Twitter using #bblit16 to see some of what you missed. Bear in mind that there were chunks of time when posting ANYthing would have meant taking time away from talk or writing or more.

I am happy that I took the time to record the two sessions of book talks in advance and post them to You Tube. They are to as good as the "live" ones, IMHO. I don't memorize book talks or prepare them really. I go into the moment and see what emerges. But I knew I would not have the chance to fit them all in, so there they ae in the video at least. You can see them here:

and here:

(I will have both of them in one place shortly, but two clicks is not tough, right?).
Tags: #bblit16, learning, teaching
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