3 Days of Inspiration!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I love him! (or, alternatively, I love her!)

That came out of my mouth a lot over the last few days.

I was at the Reading Recovery conference this Thursday and Friday in Chicago, where I saw Ralph Fletcher, Christopher Lehman, Cris Tovani, Baruti Kafele, Ruth Quiroa and Amy Huftalin. Then I spent Saturday at a CARA event with Kristin Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris.

Perhaps just saying "I love him/her!" is a simple way to express some other, more thoughtful responses.  Maybe I "really" meant...

I deeply respect the work they do in education.

I admire their impact on students across the country.

I celebrate the way they use their voice to make a positive change in students' lives, or in the world.

I hear their thinking, and it helps me reflect on my own practice.

I can be a better teacher if I believe in things the way they believe in things that matter to them.

I don't want to be them, because you can only truly be yourself, but I can channel their work to be the best ME I can be.

So, with that being said, here are the compilation of my #sketchnotes from the last three days.   I urge you to take a look, and if something in the notes speaks to you, then act on it.  We can only control the things that we do, and becoming the best teacher we can be is within that control.

I hope you also find a little love hidden in there, too.  Because, when there is passion, there is heart.  Our kids need our hearts as well as our minds.  

Maybe you won't shout, "I love him!" like I do, but maybe you will.

Ralph Fletcher, Keynote

Ralph Fletcher, on Using Mentor Texts

Cris Tovani, on Balance between Content and Reading

Christopher Lehman, on Writing From Sources

Baruti Kafele

Christopher Lehman on Close Reading

Wordless Picture Books, with Ruth Quiroa and Amy Huftalin

Kristin Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris

Kristin Ziemke Break-Out Session


  1. omg Leah, you were with Fletcher? I *LOVE* him - he was one of the first to totally change my teaching philosophy - but have never found a conference with him! Your notes are awesome and I would totally have the same motto as you the past few days!

  2. I can't wait to hear all about this. I'm especially intrigued by Baruti Kafele. I really have enjoyed following him on Twitter.