The Path We Take With Others

Jul 28, 2017

Last year was my first Nerd Camp.

          **Note-This is a free conference in Michigan where educators, librarians, authors, and illustrators congregate to discuss all things reading and writing for two days.  Day 1 is like a traditional conference with lots of great speakers and sessions.  Day 2 is set up as an "unconference," where we all help to create the sessions and schedule.**

Last year my sister and I went together.  We left feeling so empowered, excited, and eager to share what we learned.

This year we went as a team of 5.

And this year we left with so much more than even last year.

Were we empowered?  Yes!  We had the opportunity to listen to this powerful speech by Donalyn Miller.  We heard research that stated reading enjoyment is more important to success than socio-economic status.  We were reminded that it is about the reading experience, not reading lessons.  And to always be asking ourselves, "How can I be better?"

Were we excited?  Yes!  I left with a list of books that I am eager to read.  I met Jess Keating and was able to explain how much I love Pink is for Blobfish.  Shelley Johannes shared her new book with me (and my daughter nabbed it as soon as I got home)!

Were we eager to share what we learned?  Always!!  I can't wait to try out Demonstration Notebooks with my students so that I can share with my building how to utilize them.  All 5 of us would like to work together to share the One Book One School program with our district.  And we have already started to share our learnings from the diverse book panel through a monthly book club that we will be hosting.

But this year...we left with even stronger relationships and bonds.  Going through an experience like experience that is powerful, that brings you to tears, that places you in a room with so many other people that love reading as much as you do, that surrounds you with people that want to help young minds grow, an experience that is meant to light a fire under powerful.  As a team, we laughed so much and shared so much personally and professionally, that our relationships grew. 

And that is something.

As teachers, we need to surround ourselves with other teachers that feel passionately about the same things.  Those people, those companions, are going to push you and help you to grow into that teacher that is always asking, "How can I be better?"  I need that.  I crave that.  And I am grateful that I do have those people within my school, my district, and in my blogging community.

So next year...I hope that my team of 5 grows even more because I know that we will leave Nerd Camp with more than what we came with.



  1. Can anyone go to this conference? I live in Puerto Rico and would love to go. Where can I get information about next year's conference?

    1. Oh yes. It is open to anyone. Here is there website:

  2. Maybe I'll plan my trip around this and come with you... sounds great!!!

  3. Ah! Sounds like something I would absolutely LOVE!


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