Monday, November 19, 2012

Slice of Life - My Tribe

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.

Started adding dates to my calendar today:

·      February 2013
o   Anderson’s Children’s Literature Breakfast
·      March 2013 
o   Michigan Reading Association conference (attend)
o   Illinois Reading Council conference (present)
·      June 2013
o   All Write Conference (attend)
o   ALA Annual (possible)
·      July 2013
o   Kids Read Comics Celebration (possible)
·      November
o   NCTE 2013 – Boston

What are these dates about? Seeing my tribe. See, I just read Seth Godin’s Tribes on the recommendation from a good friend. It’s about surrounding ourselves with people that inspire us, that make us want to lead. I realized that unintentionally I have done just that. I love reading and writing. Heck, I love teaching. And I’ve slowly built a group of teachers – in person and through Twitter – that inspires me to do more. This group is vital to me. They make me more reflective. They remind me that I can grow in many ways. I love meeting with them, attending sessions, talking books, and just visiting.

Last Wednesday I arrived in Las Vegas for NCTE and five beautiful, but exhausting, days. Flying home I was anxious, of course, but there was more. There was excitement to see my boys, a longing to get in the classroom, and a pang of sadness for leaving my tribe. So what’s a girl to do? Begin listing all of the possible times I will see them in the next year.

Thus I came up with the list above. Some are guaranteed visits; I already have planned on going. Some are hopeful; I think I can swing it. And heck, there are so many more I’d love to add: Dublin Lit Conference, EduCon, IRA, and more. But I can’t do it all – my wallet cannot afford it! These will have to suffice.

Luckily in today’s day and age distance via miles does not equal lack of communication. Today I participated in the amazing Twitter chat #engchat and reflected on NCTE with an amazing group of educators. I exchanged text messages with several of these fabulous friends. I talk to several of them on the phone on a regular basis. I know the always fabulous #titletalk is coming up this Sunday. Social networking keeps my tribe close, even when geographic locations are the opposite. And when I sit down to Thanksgiving this year I will be thinking of family, health, and friends – especially this group who I hold close to my heart. 


  1. What a lovely post and I'm so glad to have you part of my tribe. It was great meeting up personally at NCTE.

  2. Nice to hear, Katherine. Good to be part of something so inspiring. Now we need to do that for students, always!

  3. Meeting up at NCTE is one of the highlights of my professional year. I decided not to attend this year because I didn't want to be away from my daughter for that many nights and I didn't want to schlep the family to Vegas. Alas, I missed catching up with so many people this year. Boston: 2013. It's on!

  4. Thanks, Mandy! Loved your post as well. And I enjoyed meeting you too.

  5. Thanks, Linda! And I completely agree!

  6. Boston for sure! Boston is way more my speed than Vegas was. :)

  7. Another book you may appreciate is called "Steal Like an Artist." Someone from my new tribe at a new international school loaned it to me. The inspiration virtually leaps like a wintery socks on a rug electric shock off the page. I'm in the tropics now and am actually nostalgic for a cold, dry day.

  8. I'm going to have to find Tribes and read it. I have been finding the same thing....the people I surround myself with are those who think like me. At a time when others my age are thinking of retiring, I'm making plans for years. I ended up not going to Vegas and regretted my decision every day as I followed along on Twitter. I'm going to have to make my own list and make things happen! Thanks for sharing your time in Vegas.

  9. I love how you connected Tribes to where your tribe and how you get energy from other like minded professionals. If I could only figure out my new cell....ahh....if I could only figure out twitter. xo Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. Your post resonated with me. I haven't put myself "out there" as a tribe member, more like a lurker and occasional participant from the sidelines, but I find much wisdom and energy from all of you in the nerdy and titletalk worlds.

  11. Christy Rush-LevineNovember 20, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Tribe. What a good word. The title of that book alone captures so much meaning. I have found that the connections I've made through this online community have become my sustenance as a writer, an educator, and a human. Like Deb, I skipped Vegas (honestly, mostly because it was, well, Vegas) and regretted it each day as I longed to be part of the experience. I will see you at IRC in March and I am all-in for Boston next year!

  12. Thanks for inspiring and causing ME to reflect, as well. The mutual reinforcement and encouragement of NCTE conferences and people are tribal support indeed!


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