The Joys of Teaching Other Teachers

Last Wednesday, our district held it’s reputable GET FIT conference, a professional development day that is held every two years, and teachers across the district have an opportunity to share their expertise with others.
This year was my first year to present at GET FIT, and our presentation was called “Hidden Treasures of Literacy: Integrating Treasures components with Balanced Literacy in Grades 1-3.”  I’ll admit that I’m still very much a newbie in terms of presenting, and I was so fortunate to have two of my fabulous third grade teammates, Sara and Sheri, along for the ride as my co-presenters.  There’s something to say about the “power” of presenting in teams…call it camaraderie, call it more credibility, call it more confidence…whatever it is, I’m extremely grateful for it and I know our presentations wouldn’t have been the same without collaboration between the three of us. Not to mention, it’s just more fun!
We held two sessions and packed in 30 teachers per session, focusing on the utilization of Shared Reading Notebooks and Reading Response Journals in conjunction with our McMillan McGraw-Hill Treasures reading adoption, which we’ve utilized since 2008. We created a Google website devoted exclusively to our presentations, containing digital files of all needed materials for teachers to take back to their classrooms and immediately implement.
To view my recent post regarding Reading Response Journals, please click below:
In my opinion, there’s something very nerve-racking about sharing my “passion” and “original creations” with others, especially when it comes to best literacy practices that I’ve implemented and polished over the past ten years.  I was very much hoping for a positive response from our attendees, and barely slept the night before!
What I love about presenting to teachers is that they become just like students when they’re “engaged”…chatting excitedly with their teacher friends, asking questions, and even taking pictures of materials.  After our two sessions, I was completely overwhelmed with the positive response!  Several teachers stayed afterwards to ask more questions or get our advice.  On their way out, one group of teachers thanked us for “inspiring them” and added that they “couldn’t wait to get back to their classrooms.” I’ve also received multiple positive emails over the last few days from attendees, thanking us for sharing our ideas and letting us know how much they enjoyed our presentation.  One participant remarked that our session was the “very best, most informative, well presented, helpful, and relevant one we have EVER gone to in the years that we’ve been doing this type of professional development.”  WOW!!! Talk about a comment that makes your day!!
After our presentations, I couldn’t stop smiling, and realized that inspiring other teachers can be just as, or sometimes even MORE rewarding than inspiring children.   Knowing that our strategies will be implemented and shared across the district to benefit countless students is truly remarkable, and I’m looking forward to the feedback from teachers as they see the positive impacts of Shared Reading Notebooks and Reading Response Journals in their classrooms.
Watch for my next blog post this coming week: Shared Reading and the Power of Notebooks
Click the link below to purchase one of my products that was presented in conjunction with Reading Response Journals: