Home from Austin with many new good memories in spite of heat that reached 105-109 for record setting daily highs. Attendance was down somewhat but still several thousand people from here and abroad were there and it was time well spent.
I was grateful to Sandy for going with me and I know that Mary Jo was glad that Hank came too. The four of us have a good time together and when conference work kept Mary Jo and me busy, Sandy and Hank amused themselves sightseeing and shopping.
Mary Jo Fresch and I enjoyed doing a Facebook Live broadcast that has been viewed more then 8,400 times already, and on Sunday afternoon we had excellent attendance for our two-hour workshop. Also hooked up with Laura Robb to discuss a book we might do together and touched base with Glenda Nugent about the poetry article I’m writing for Missouri Reader. Had a good visit with Su Hutchens and talked her into contributing to my article about her experiences in using poetry in the classroom.
My thanks to the folks at Teacher Created Materials for their generous support and lovely breakfast on Sunday morning, and to my friends at Scholastic for their usual stellar author reception on Saturday evening as well as for putting us on Facebook Live and proving a signing time/space at their display area.
Although I’m on a limited schedule for now, there is still work to do. My first priority is to finish bringing my thoughts together for the ILA workshop Mary Jo Fresch and I are doing this month in Austin on the 22nd @InternationalLiteracyAssociation and @ILAToday
In case you will be attending and might like to sit in on our hands-on workshop, here’s the location and time:
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 22
Event: 0132 – 7 steps to writing success:
Changing how students research
Type: Hands-On Workshop
Location: Austin Convention Center
Meeting Room 3 – Banquet
From 10:00 – 11:00 that morning Mary Jo and will be signing our recent book, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS, at the Scholastic booth.
For my part I have nine speaking slots about various topics relative to our theme of helping students learn how to prepare before they begin writing.
Most of my turns are set for six minutes, which is roughly the equivalent of three double-spaced pages. These are subjects I know but I don’t trust myself to stand before an audience and fill six minutes without knowing what I want to say. I don’t stand and read a script. I speak from notes. They just need to be good ones.
Today Mary Jo Fresch and I have a Skype date to talk over our plans for the International Literacy Association conference next month in Austin. We’re giving a two hour hands-on workshop titled “7 Steps to Writing Success” so we need to start putting the finishing touches together for that.
We also have a new book proposal being read and keep hoping to hear good news from that before long. It has been out for a few months now.
St. Louis was hot and sticky but the ILA conference went off well. Our hotel was eight blocks from the center and I walked both ways each day so I got my exercise and gave my antiperspirant a good workout.
Saw lots of good friends and made new ones. Attendance was around 4,000+, a far cry from the heydays when more than 15,000 usually came, but it’s still the best game around for teachers who want to hear the latest from the mouths and minds of the best in the business. It’s a shame that so many schools have trimmed their travel budgets for teacher professional development, especially at a time when so much emphasis is being placed on teacher accountability. Webinars and technology can only go so far. Sometimes you just have to be there.
Next up is this Thursday night at The Library Center. I’m eager to get with my friends in Byron Biggers Band and RAE to recite, sing, and play my poems and stories. Thank you to everyone who is spreading the word. Much appreciated!!