Sunday, November 9, 2014

Education Allstars

While perusing my Twitter feed this afternoon, I stumbled upon a link advertising an evening podcast with one of my educational heroes, Donalyn Miller! Tech Ninja Todd, who also happens to be an inspiring educator, hosts a weekly webisode which streams live online and is later available for download on Itunes. I anxiously waited for the Google Hangout interview to begin, and when the Book Whisperer appeared on the screen, giddiness and excitement quickly surfaced.

With my headphones snugly pressed into my ears, I listened attentively as Donalyn spoke about the importance of providing students with engaged reading experiences. She promoted student choice and preached about the power for helping kids find their passions. I frantically tweeted her nuggets of wisdom, and when she mentioned she was working on a new book, I felt like I'd just won the lottery. In my book, authors are better than rockstars!

As the interview drew to a close, I found myself thinking about my third grade teacher, Mrs. Sheila Barnes. Years ago, I remember watching her devour professional books, seeking solutions to the challenges she faced in the classroom. She read game-changing titles like Nancie Atwell's In the Middle and Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook. These books impacted my life and the lives of hundreds of students she's served over the last 30 years. Donalyn Miller is my Nancie Atwell, and I am deeply grateful I can connect in real time through Twitter, videocasts, and professional conferences. Every time I hear her speak, I am inspired and challenged. Three Cheers for the #eduallstars team and for teachers who shape the landscape of classrooms across the country!

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