#sol19- June 25, 2019
It is no secret that I am a self-professed nerd and LOVE summer PD- I plan it into my summer because truly I feel happier when I have some structure to my summer and I know I do not have as much time to catch up on some PD once school is back in session. I also look forward to time seeing friends and family in the summer (of course), so I search out ways to combine both of these wants.
My younger son is in Washington, DC this summer for an internship, so I looked for PD I could do while visiting with him (last year there was a Scholastic Reading Summit I went to while he was in Chicago). Lo and behold ALA was in DC this summer-so I jumped at the chance and signed up! I have to admit it- I was sold simply by the facts that Jason Reynolds was going to open the event and that friends spoke highly about it in the past.
I was serious about getting a good seat to see him and happily sat in the auditorium and read while waiting (and therefore had a seat in the front row). A few small snippets are below, but let me reassure you if you ever get the chance to hear him speak-go. Later in the conference I got the chance to stand in line to “meet” him and was given an arc of his upcoming book, Look Both Ways as well as Lu, the finale of his Track series, which he signed.
A little more about his speech is here.
Four days later and the conference is over. I have just finished Look Both Ways (it is out in October- preorder it now!) and his words make me feel both hopeful and hopeless at the same time.
I spent lots of the rest of the conference time waiting in lines to see other authors and get books signed-worth every minute to me. My third graders will have lots of new books that the author has actually touched! I learned it costs $101.80 to send a large flat rate priority box to Cambodia (and did that twice) because I want to be able to share so many great, new books with my future students (and the former students who will also borrow books). The conference reminded me again and again of the role of libraries and although I am a teacher, not a librarian, I want our class library to be an important part of our room, so I know that I have to keep adding to it. Last night when I watched more of Jason Renolds’ words in Dear Dreamer, I was struck by his observation that he does not want future generations to necessarily be reading his books, as language has to be constantly evolving, which is a good push for me to make sure I am weeding our library as well as growing it, so the great books have room to shine. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing authors in person and know that their words will speak to kids in 3EV!
A slice from a former student.