Tuesday, February 13, 2018

10 drops of #CCIRA18 conference knowledge

I brought myself to the Annual Conference hosted by CCIRA last week. Here are a few quotable glimpses of what I took away:

1. “Bring your new self to your thinking as you read farther.” --Maggie B. Roberts

Why this matters: The best reading experiences aren't static. They change us and how we see what we're reading.

2. “Listen for ideas that are buildable and build them up.” --Jeff Zwiers

Why this matters: Unlock power of communicating collaboratively with each other, rather than popcorning disconnected ideas past each other.

3. “If we’re the only teacher for our students, then we’re not doing it right... We don’t have to be limited by our own knowledge and expertise to support what students are interested in.” --Meenoo Rami

Why this matters: Connecting -- virtually or actually -- is more powerful than it is risky.

4. “When you tell your child, you can’t read [Insert Title they're rereading incessantly] for the [umpteenth] time, you’re saying they can’t spend time with a best friend. When you say, don’t read [Insert Title to which you object for any number of reasons], you’re kind of saying I don’t want you to be a reader.” --John Schumacher

Why this matters: Good intentions can be unintentionally stifling. Remember to exert influence with care and two-way conversations.

5. “Blog to the job you want, not the job you have.” --George Couros

Why this matters: Looking forward unleashes untapped power, in blogging and elsewhere.

6. “As long as you write better than your students, you’ll have it made [in a writing conference].” --Aimee Buckner

Why this matters: Teachers are learners, too, and learners can be teachers.

7. “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way; if not, you’ll make an excuse.” --Eric Sheninger

Why this matters: Identifying (and prioritizing) what matters is essential, even as we understand this target can move. Reflect regularly on current direction; adjust course when needed.

8. “What you think you’re doing changes how you interact with children and how you interact with children changes everything.” --Peter Johnston

Why this matters: Perception can be tremendously influential. When in doubt, fake it [optimism, purposefulness] until we can reliably make it!

9. What we write should contain “our emotional truth...Turn yourself inside out in your work to inject your deepest feelings.” --Ruta Septetys

Why this matters: When we don't care about what we're writing (or making or doing), nobody else will. Fortunately, the converse is usually true.

10. A writer's notebook can't be "too precious." --Linda Urban

Why this matters: Beware of taking our work too seriously, protecting it too much. If it's messy or ragged from being over-handled, that probably means we're getting the most use and benefit from it.


  1. I like how you shared not just the quote, but your thinking about the quote. That gets me thinking more deeply.

  2. Thanks for posting. I especially like your simple but powerful structure - quote, name of person who said it and Why this matters. #5 really spoke to me and I did not know of George. Now I'm signed up to get his blog posts!I'm glad you learned and shared.

  3. So many things to say about this! It’s amazing. Favorite part- we should write our emotional truth.

  4. Nice summary & thoughtful analysis. Bravo CCIRA & thanks to Leonardo da Vinci! A toast to teachers.
    !gnilims peeK

  5. It took me a minute to learn what CCIRA is. Looks like a great event. I'm stealing your quote/quote-so-what for my next conference. Rather than popcorning from one session to the next, building on an aspect of a thought-provoking session makes for a richer learning experience.

  6. I always enjoy reading your tidbits & takeaways from conferences - concise + thought-provoking! Thank you for sharing!