Yesterday was the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project (TCRWP) Saturday Reunion, offering dozens of free workshops, bookended by a keynote from Marc Brackett, founder of Ruler and author of Permission to Feel and Tyrone Howard, professor and DEI leader at UCLA and co-author of No More Teaching Without Positive Relationships (available at Heinemann for 40% with code CONF21).

Workshops were either 15 minutes or 50 minutes - such a great structure to allow my Saturday brain to engage in just-right ways. I'm so grateful for that learning time, but also, for being a part of the larger TCRWP community.

Thank you, TCRWP, for being there, always, to push us to become writers and readers ourselves. Reminding me that if I'm not leading a writing life and a reading life, I won't be able to bring authenticity to my work with educators and students. Time and time again, you remind me to pick up my pen or think more deeply about text. And that work feels good. I don't roll my eyes or blow it off, because you prompt me, provide a visual, make rich connections. And then I can pay that forward - that feeling of how good it can be to do hard meaningful work.

Thank you for a structure (minilesson - work time - share time) that provides me with clarity and consistency, whether I'm working with kids or adults, if I have 20 minutes or 60 minutes. It feels so good to always have workshop structure as a tool. Planning in a pandemic has been so challenging, but with this solid core, I've got a common language, a set of practices, a way of being that centers me and centers educators when we're apt to flail. Workshop is always there for us.

Thank you for the beauty of precise language; the helpful visuals of anchor charts; for the power of mentor text lists. Thank you for the online learning community, striving to call each other in during a difficult year. 

Thank you for modeling what it means to learn. Watching TCRWP engage in rich discussion with colleagues about the "science of reading" models what our profession should do. Let's listen. Let's revisit our values. Let's get stronger when we learn more. Let's change, grow, develop. Let's clarify what we mean. When we're called out (even rudely), let's respond with light & love rather than venom, so that we don't forget why we're doing the work: to create a generation of students who read/write/think/talk with purpose, energy, joy, skills and a sense of power on their literacy.


I attended:

  • Thoughts for School Leaders, Coaches, and Teacher-Leaders about How We Can—and Must—Plan for the Fall (Lucy Calkins)
  • For Coaches: Planning In-School Staff Development That Teachers Will Enjoy and That Will Move the Work Forward (Jonathan Aldanese)
  • For Coaches: Ways to Offer Feedback in Person and across a Screen (Brooke Geller)
  • When Independent Reading Isn't Going as Well as We Hoped, What Might We Try? (Sara Gretina)
  • Calling Colleagues In: Supporting Each Other in the Work of Antiracism and Equity in Your School (Sonja Cherry-Paul)
  • 5 Things to Do Immediately: Very Practical Help Supporting Upper Grade Readers Who Are Reading Below Benchmark (Kara Arnold)
  • Great New(ish) Books to Bring LGBTQ Authors and Voices into Our Classroom and School Libraries (Katy Wischow)


  1. I agree. The Saturday Reunions are such an incredible gift to the education world. I enjoyed reading this post. I really liked how you wrote it like a big thank you note.

    1. Yes - I should actually send it along to TCRWP as a thank you note - I may even hand write it!

  2. I loved the sessions yesterday too! You made such excellent selections - love Sara especially- and I appreciated the way you digested for readers what you refocused and recentered on after a full day of learning. Xxx

    1. I am not done with my "learning" notes, but it felt good to Slice out the big ideas that drive the TCRWP love that powers so much of my literacy work. What did you attend and love?

  3. I love this whole know I love conferences. I also love the idea of 15 min workshops! So do-able with Zoom!

    1. It was such a great structure for me, too - I thought I'd be frustrated but each presenter rocked a "small dose" of learning. I am going to be replicating this idea, some how, with my grad students!


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