professornana (professornana) wrote,

Meet me in St. Louis?

Actually, I flew in St. Louis yesterday morning picked up a rental car and drove to Osage Beach (about 175 miles) for the Missouri Association of Teachers of English conference. For this long time Texas resident, the drive was a wonder: fields filled with snow; trees dusted with lacy sprinklings of snow; piles of snow on the sides of the road.

As I drove, I was reading with my ears, and the time flew by. I managed to make it to MATE in time to hear the final couple of hours of Donalyn Miller's pre-conference. Donalyn and I managed to share another 5 hours or so tacking the big issues of education, talking about books read and still in the TBR stack, and generally enjoying passionate talk about colleagues and friends. Today, I am up early to do some work online so I can enjoy a day that begins with Jeff Anderson and ends with dinner with Cris Tovani and Donalyn.

These are the times that sustain me, that keep me working, that inspire me to continue reading and writing. I see that others are engaged in fighting the good fight. I watch Donalyn give teachers resources they need to defend best practices (reading aloud, time in class to read). I see Jeff and Cris and others do the same. So much of my PD is online, so it is lovely to have some FTF time with folks whose work I admire, who ignite my thinking, and who are fearless when it comes to talking about what is BEST FOR KIDS. I will tweet and post out as I can today. For now, it is off to find a source of caffeine (the hotel room coffee pot yielded half a cup in half an hour).
Tags: colleagues, conferences, inspiration, learning
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