10 Apr Slice of Life: Who Gives You the Gifts of Roots and Wings Professionally? #SOL18 #MRAC2018
The MRA (Massachusetts Reading Association) conference is one we never miss. They say there are two gifts in life to be given, roots and wings. MRA gives us both. This conference feels like a memory book as we walk down the hallways – seeing faces from the past, sharing snippets of what is happening classrooms with those who are present, and shaking hands with some we hope to learn with in the future. MRA represents the foundation of our beliefs – these are our people. We feel at home here.
Yesterday we were inspired by the messages we heard from presenters. Again and again, themes of joy, purpose, story, choice, engagement, community, and connection filled the conference. Our literacy heroes – Kathy Collins, Penny Kittle, Pam Allyn, and Ralph Fletcher – inspired and challenged us to keep these themes alive in our classrooms. To teach – teach our butts off – and keep these themes alive. It filled our hearts to hear others – those we look to for guidance – advocate for schools that value both proficiency and passion. Our children deserve both.
Pam Allyn reminded us that at the heart of literacy is story. She believes literacy is the ultimate innovation. Literacy is twenty-first-century innovation. Teaching every child to read in a joyous manner is true equity. “Every child has the right to that opportunity. Every child no matter their zip code, gender, location or cultural background.” She shared how she is bringing this to life. How she is developing and inspiring Super Readers around the world. In her book (and this presentation) she shared 7 Strengths to Open a World of Possible:
Then she talked about how to bring this to life – what is essential to inspiring a super reader … (drumroll)
Teachers need the tools to teach literacy. Literacy is the ultimate innovation. We may not know what the world will be in the future, but in the words of Pam Allyn – literacy will always be relevant, and it is a civic human right to learn how to read. “Hope is a basic human need. When we lose our hope, we lose our humanity. Reading and books are hope.” – Pam Allyn, MRAC2018
Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year.
Clare and Tammy