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Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Tell Your Story. If You Don't, Who Will?" ~Colby Sharp

Here is a little take away from the MRA conference I attended yesterday. I went to a session with Colby Sharp, Linda Urban, Katherine Applegate and Lisa McMann. Their message was to write, take risks and not to be afraid of failing. Not everything you write will be or needs to be groundbreaking. Stop trying to be perfect and make a mistake right away so the writing stays real.

This made me think of one of my notebooks. When I got it and started writing in it I wanted it to stay perfect. Then I made a mistake on the first page. I decided at that moment it didn't matter. However, my initial feelings were this notebook will stay beautiful. Then I realized beauty wasn't going to mean flawless.

The session was very inspiring and on my drive home last night this is what swirled in my head:

"Writing notebooks are a playground and safe." Linda Urban
"Don't be discouraged, you're making a difference every single minute." Lisa McMann
"Everything you do matters." Katherine Applegate

The session ended with a statement from Colby Sharp that teachers are awesome. He encouraged teachers to, "Tell your story. If you don't, who will?" I couldn't agree more. Blogging and talking with others about what we are doing in our classrooms is the only way to shift the eyes of those looking down on teachers these days.

So, get yourself a notebook, make it a playground where you can kick dirt around and it's okay. Write about your frustrations in education these days and then write about what you are doing to change kids lives. Write about what you do to make a difference every single minute. Write what matters, because in the end it's the people. What we do to shape them matters more than any shifting eyes or judgmental glances. Your students matter, you matter and so does your story.


  1. "...and then write about what you are doing to change kids lives." -- love this. I would love to read these stories. All of them!

  2. I was jealously watching conference tweets - and the notebook ones really caught my attention. One, I need a notebook of my own and two, I need to let my kids play in their notebooks more. Thanks for the reflection!

    1. Onathought -- I'm so glad to hear you're going to encourage your students to play in their notebooks. I think it is one of those things that really encourages ownership. And yeah, get a notebook!
      -- Linda Urban

  3. A lovely post, full of great advice!

  4. This is a great post. I've been thinking a lot about what Colby said, too. So glad you're sharing your story!

  5. Thanks for coming to my session. It was WONDERFUL meeting you at this past weekend. Looking forward to NCTE.

  6. Thanks for a glimpse into this session, Betsy! I sure wish I had been there, but you captured the essence perfectly. I agree we all need to tell our story!


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