Working with Authors as a By-Product of Stupid Talk

If you had asked me a year ago what I would be doing today, I would have rambled off about dozen education related ideas. I take after my Dad. He’s a dreamer. He’s always concocting a new invention, theory, or idea, in general. Always. He calls it “stupid talk”. Somewhere in the midst of all of the “stupid talk”, something smart and innovative will come about. Not every time, but eventually. I would say that, in this respect, I am much like my dad. I ramble. I dream. And I dream up big ideas that, sometimes, make no sense at all. You should see my husband when I say something completely ridiculous and he is trying to find a polite way to tell me, “no”.

Of all of my ideas, I never thought I’d be working with authors. Authors are, to me, like celebrities of the literate world. They are names splashed across books, much like directors of movies. They are experts in their field, while I am still in a learning-process. In education, many educational authors are mentors. Mentors to their peers and readers.

Imagine my dilemma when authors began ending their messages on a first name basis. Being raised by a southern Dad and Japanese Mom, I was always raised to be respectful of others. You call people Ms. or Mr. and you use last names. A courtesy practiced by both my American and Japanese families. Authors are my literate mentors, the experts. Naturally, I want to use last names, and expect to be referred to by my first name. After all, I am not the expert.

For those of you who may not know, I have had the pleasure and opportunities to communicate with a couple authors regarding book studies hosted by The Educator’s Book Club. Typically, this is a fairly informal process and not time-sensitive. A couple authors, Angela Watson and Dave Burgess, have joined the group and commented alongside the members throughout the book studies. Informal, inviting, and fairly simple.

This morning, I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited. I was going to meet an author for the first time via Adobe Connect. I sent out the link for the meeting room the previous night, and we met this morning at 8:30. I even dreamt that I was preparing for the meeting, so I suppose you could say I was double prepared. I was also very nervous and anxious.

If you are a part of the book club, then I’m sure you know who I am talking about. Margie Pearse, co-author of Teaching Numeracy. We had a couple technology hiccups in the beginning, but, eventually, were able to use the audio, share the whiteboard, and play around on the meeting board. I will be posting more specifics soon regarding the guidelines for the discussions.

The meeting this morning went so wonderfully, and, yet, the whole time I was trying to keep calm and not giggle too much. I giggle when I’m nervous, a trait I don’t typically consider a positive one. I could name a couple moments where giggling was the absolute last thing I should have been doing. And, imagine what I would do when I got nervous about giggling too much? Yup. You guessed it. I’d giggle more. Anyway, I digress.

The Educator’s Book Club began as a means for me to continue my growth as a teacher with fellow educators. We began with a handful of teachers and have grown since. Because of this group of wonderful teachers, eager to learn and grow together, I have had the opportunity to connect with authors in an attempt to bring deeper meaning and understanding to our book studies.

Regarding “stupid talk”, I consider The Educator’s Book Club a very positive by-product of it. Thank you to all of the members of the group who have voted, nominated, and participated in the group! And thank you to all of the authors who have shed so much more light and meaning on the studies we have and will be conducting! I look forward to reaching out and connecting with other authors as we all learn and grow together!


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