Is it wrong to pull out cute photos of your kids when you're speaking in public?
That's me, showing the adorable baby passport my daughter, Rebecca, was issued before she left Japan at four weeks old. In my defense, I was talking about military families and how much we move. And how story can help. How "doing something" is better than pretending these families are invisible in our classrooms and in our literature.
I think it went well. In fact, I think it all went well at the new Joy of Children's Literature Conference held in Williamsburg this past weekend. I especially enjoyed the other presenters' sessions which I was able to sneak into, including one by teacher Amy Moser, who recounted how her class embarked on a study of Ellen Potter's middle-grade novels, which culminated in a Skype visit with the author. Amy had the foresight to interview her students right after the visit, to document their reaction. I wish I could show you that video----talk about cute. And smart. And wonderful.
Handouts from the presenters (including mine) can be found here. You can read about the conference here----and note that organizer Denise Johnson has already set the date for next year: Oct. 12, 2012, with headliner, Lester L. Laminack. Denise is a firecracker of a person---determined to champion children's books in the classroom---and if you ever doubt that teachers and writers belong on the same team, read her blog.
Here's another shot of me at the conference---this time during my afternoon workshop, talking planning and improv. That's an actual planning sheet used by my cousin, Chris, (also a military spouse) in preparing for her move to Egypt. It's not as cute as a baby, but at least the picture isn't of me wearing a clown nose. (Yes, I put one on, briefly.) Many thanks to all for a great day!