As Lucy greeted a packed church at the closing of the TCRWP Saturday Reunion yesterday, she reflected on it being the 90th Reunion. 90 Saturdays. 90 times where teachers volunteered to share what works for them. 90 times where teachers volunteered to come to learn from bright teachers. All coming to lift the level of their teaching.
For me, it has been 14 times. After my first Summer Writing Institute in 2009, I came that next October. I was overwhelmed by the crowd. Yet, after 5 hours of inspiration and a filled notebook of great ideas to guide my teaching, I return by train to VA. When March came, I trekked north again on a Saturday. And now it is my tradition. Now, I mark the Saturdays in October and March on my new calendar and you will find me at TC learning.
Lucy told a story about how 100+ Calkins family members gathered for a reunion years ago. Being among this extended group of related people, her son commented that made him feel OK and less weird. That is EXACTLY how I feel about coming to the TCWRP Saturday Reunion. I come to be around those who “make me feel less weird”. Back in VA, a few that I work with have a literacy focus and a desire to grow it as I do. I value the conversations I have with them that lift the level of our practice. A few have time to work on their literacy craft as I strive to also do. I value the collaborative times we share. Many have a different focus – math, young children to get home to, a wedding to plan, an aged-parent to look after. And I get that. This life we lead is big and our world offers so many focal points.
Yesterday, I left feeling exactly as Lucy’s son. It feels so OK to spend the day with people who all make me feel less weird! I came to the Saturday Reunion to be with my people! I am part of this family of educators who will never stop searching for an answer to this question: What can we learn today to lift the level of our practice?! I left with a notebook filled with ideas and a calendar in my purse marked to return on October 22, 2016 & March 18, 2017.