So, thanks to perhaps--no, certainly--the most wonderful professor in the world, I had the distinct pleasure of spending 4 days in Boothbay Harbor, Maine for a literacy retreat--a sort of reenvisioned professional development conference--with some MAJOR names in adolescent literacy. The topic of the "retreat" was 21st Century Literacies--what sorts of new (and existing) literacies will students need to move successfully through this new, Globalization 3.0 (<- Tom Friedman's term) world? Ladies and gentlemen, I was standing literally 4 FEET from Kylene Beers (president elect of NCTE) and Bob Probst for 4 days. What's more, Sara Kajder did the afternoon sessions! This was an amazing opportunity I will simply never forget. Further, I had the opportunity to meet my absolute hero (isn't she everyone's?): Nancie Atwell! I met her in the bathroom, of all places! I swear I wasn't stalking her. I had her all to myself for like a whole 2 minutes. She joined us for an evening and spoke with a passion that brought tears to my eyes. When I asked a question at the end of her session, she spoke to me so personally it was as though the other 80 people in the room vanished. She so graciously signed my copy of Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons. What's that you say? You'd like to know, word-for-word, what this sage, this modern-day prophet, could possibly write to a novice such as myself? More than happy to oblige:
With all best wishes as you and your lucky students name the world together.
Sigh. . . And yes, her handwriting does look exactly as it appears on the neatly-written resources she includes in her books.
In related news, I purchased the most adorable bell for my new classroom--it's silver and the top looks like a little anchor. It will always remind me of this special trip.
Oh, and my 20 hrs of prof. development for 2008-2009 school year? Done!