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.