A few nights ago, I was stuck with some serious insomnia. I know I shouldn’t have my phone on in bed, especially if I can’t sleep, but I have a nervous twitch that makes me check my email/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter on a continuous loop throughout the day. (This is me admitting I have a problem.) So, here I was at 2am, scrolling through what I missed on Twitter that day, and I discovered a few of my new friends were participating in a #g2great chat. I had no idea what that was, but from their responses, it looked right up my alley!
It turned out that author Chris Lehman was guest hosting this chat, using his book ENERGIZE Research Reading & Writing as the catalyst for discussion. Goodness me, the discussion was so good that I ordered myself a copy of the book right then and wondered why I hadn’t heard of it before! I had so many ideas of how to turn research right on its head in our 3rd/4th grade classes next year — from throwing out note-taking uniformity to promoting student choice in topics (yeah, we’re still not there yet…) to explicitly teaching students to THINK about their nonfiction reading (an ongoing struggle). I AM energized, and I can’t wait to dig into this book! Thank you, Twitter!
But I do have to wait. See, a couple months ago, some Twitter friends were going bananas over Disrupting Thinking: Why HOW We Read Matters by Kylene Beers and Robert E Probst. This was along the same time I was taking the Visible Thinking class by Project Zero, so there was a bit of overlap between folks reading and doing both. Over and over again, I would see book quotes and sketch notes and exclamations of genius and adoration for this book.
So, I shared a stack of professional books at our last staff meeting, highlighting this one, saying that it was at the top of my to-read pile and hey, would anyone like to join me? Crickets. But a few days later, a teacher asked me if I wanted to do a summer book club with Disrupting Thinking — woo! We had our first meeting today, just three of us crazy teachers working on summer break, and it was great. Our conversations flowed from the topics in the book (we read the first third and will meet again two more times) to our own practice to possibilities for the future. I only wish we had taken notes! But again, thank you, Twitter friends, for inspiring this connection and growth opportunity.
There are definitely times when I need to unplug and just be. And there are times when it is so hard to be in a constantly evolving community, especially when I’m running low on time, energy, or effort. But when I’m up for it, when I want to be inspired or challenged, I turn to my carefully curated community of teachers and librarians on Twitter because I know that they’ll make me better. I hope I do the same every now and then!
Are you one of the awesome people I follow? Follow me @nataliesap on Twitter and @cfslslibrary on Instagram, and I’ll follow you back. 🙂