The last few days at Reading for the Love of It in Toronto (where I met teachers from across the country), I was reminded that teachers are teachers are teachers. Regardless of our geographical locations, we are connected by a love of children, a passion for literature, and a desire to make a difference in the world. Regardless of the communities in which we teach, we are united by both the stories of our students and the stories on our bookshelves.
Stories help us learn about the world, about each other, about ourselves, about our place in the world. Stories keep the past alive and implore us to contemplate the future. Stories expand our perspectives and stir emotion. As Madeleine L’Engle once said, “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”
I leave this conference with new stories to tell, new connections to nurture, new books to read. (My suitcase is quite literally weighed down by books… books that were not yet with me when I ventured east.)
Most importantly though, I leave inspired to continue my own story. To empower students with the skills of reading and writing. To assist teachers in their endeavors to teach these skills to their students. To teach. To write. To read for the love of it.