Relationships. During NCTE, I sat a table with awesome, innovative, practice-what-you-preach educators during dinner at a fancy restaurant. We talked about bringing authors into the classroom and other things which of course included reading. We also talked about how we feel like we are BIG (at conferences), we are actually small. We are the ones who bring authors in, who read books that students read, who connect kids with authors, who tweet with authors, and who proudly wear the banner of being a Nerdy!
And authors recognize us too!
As we were talking I said that anyone can do this…but it is all about relationships. Yes, anyone can do this. Anyone can connect with authors through Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media platforms.
But it takes effort…and a lot of it. (And this is something I am going to write about often.)
Two years ago I wanted to write a Blog. I wanted to share my story. (I have been very absent on this blog for awhile, but…that is what NCTE and connections through Twitter do…it helps you to refocus.) I saw that many bloggers were on Twitter. I was a little scare of being on Twitter…I kinda thought it was stupid that only Ashton Kutcher did. Famous people. I really could care less what they had to say.
But, boy was I wrong. Once I created an account, I was hooked. I started following educators and found who they followed and started following them. I started to tweet to people who shared the same passions that I did…reading and books and teaching and writing. I was there when The Nerdy Book Club began. I have become friends with many Nerdy Book Clubbers because I build relationships with them. I ask questions. I seek answers. I want to know more about what they do. I want recommendations. I connect with authors and send them pictures of their books on shelves. I tell them that my students just went and bought their hardcover book. They in turn want to write and connect with them.
It starts by creating an account on Twitter.
It starts by following one person and then seeing how they follow…and follow those people.
It’s about conversing, asking questions, and seeking answers.
It’s about celebrating.
It’s about writing your story and sharing it with others.
It’s about reflecting when things don’t go right…and then seeking answers. Then trying again.
It’s about joining a BIGGER conversation.
It’s about connecting.
I think this is what is needed in our field right now. We need to build relationships with one another and band together. It’s imperative and well worth the effort!