Saturday, July 6, 2013


I was watching Colby Sharp’s Newbery/ Nerdbery video today and I had to smile. One, because Colby was talking about the wrong book for this week but ran the video anyway – love that. Two, because Colby spent the second half of the video talking about our friend, John, and how proud he is of the hard work that John is doing for the Newbery committee this year. (Colby's video can be seen HERE.) 

As Colby talked, I reflected – as always. I am so proud of John – and all of my Nerdy Book Club friends. Heck, all of the teachers I know. So many work SO HARD. Every teacher I know uses the summer to recharge, yes. But while they are doing that recharging, they are also preparing for next year. They read like crazy people, myself included. They begin planning new units, trying to figure out how to try new ideas in their classrooms. They go shopping for stuff that will go in their classrooms, spending their own money.

Just a few days ago I was surprised to see the name Tony on my cell when it was ringing. Tony is an amazing teacher in Dublin, Ohio. (Seriously, what is in the water over there – amazing teachers abound!) Tony had called me because his response to a comment I left on his blog was already lengthy so he figured it would be faster to talk. One hour later I hung up with a clearer understanding of Evernote and a desire to have Tony come to Monticello so he could help me write some curriculum.

That evening I spent a good hour watching Luke's baseball game and fielding texts from students, friends, and teachers (also friends) on a wide range of books we were discussing. Trying to keep track of the separate conversations was overwhelming. At one point, I had to laugh. Books, it seems, have taken over my life. I felt the need for a nap.

Turning to Twitter I see that I am not alone in my exhaustion from ALA – many friends are feeling the same. I have to smile when I see the tweets, knowing that most of us traveled there – on our own dime – because we love books, we enjoy getting together, and we wanted – needed – to see Katherine Applegate handed that beautiful award.

And as I reflect on this summer, I realize I have packed it full: All Write, ALA, Nerdcamp, a Choice Literacy writing retreat. While that is exhausting in some ways – in others I know I will leave recharged, excited to teach, and ready to head back to the classroom. And I have many friends that will be attending all of these events and more.

I think what I took away from Colby’s video this morning is just how proud I am of teachers. Looking around at so many of them, knowing the efforts they put into their jobs, seeing the results in my own children, it is awesome. So thanks, teacher friends – Nerdy Book Club friends. Thanks for keeping me motivated. Thanks for helping me learn more about so many things. Thanks for inspiring me to want to do more. My parents used to tell me that it said a lot about you as a person by who you surrounded yourself with. Looking around, I would have to agree.