As I sat looking over my books to decide what would work best with Second Graders, I started pulling books I could use in the beginning of the year. I like to choose books that set the tone I expect. I want kids to be brave.
I also thought about some of the amazing people I've met on the internet and how they've cracked this job I do wide open for me.
One of those people is Cathy Mere who changed my teaching life because I knew I wanted to do more, but I wasn't sure what it looked like. She took the time to write a book that made sense and I use it whenever I am unsure what to do next. We have since become online friends and she never fails to share something I can use.
There's a Book for That lives up to its name. She is relentless at reading and reviewing and helping her friends find just the right book. I plan to use one of her suggestions when I talk with my Second Graders about getting to know people for who they are and reveling in the possibilities.
Barbara O'Connor is the fantastic author of so many amazing books. We connected when I read The Small Adventures of Popeye and Elvis. Carrie tweeted that she loved what we did with the book, from making Yoo Hoo boats to drawing our favorite parts. Barbara saw the post and allowed me to invite her into my classroom via Skype. She shared her whole writing process with the kids in a way that helped them see how much goes into writing something from the idea to the writing to the research and the revision. She was just with us for about 15 minutes, but I remember it like it was two hours. We've become online friends as well and I value her and her writing so much. We will be reading another of her books next year as I am looping with my kids and can't wait to show them more.
A great person whom I know in real life and online, Jessica Esch, says with frequency "Online affects Offline." She is one of those people who never fails to send a quick tweet or FB note letting you know you are heard. Follow her at @jesch30.
I strive to do this as well. I know you're there and I appreciate it ever so much.
Finally, as I sat and read a book that charms and engages me at every reading,
And then, I burst into tears.
But only because I love what I do and I can't wait for those kids to show up.