A “Top 10” Energizing Resources for PD by JoEllen McCarthy

“If you have even one colleague with whom you can share ideas, readings, and questions, you can draw from that enough energy to maintain your motivation and ability to grow professionally.”* This quote from Donald Graves speaks volumes.   It resonates for me in my work with teachers and students.  Professional learning is a source of energy.  If you are reading this, you must agree.  Who else reads a blog entitled, Nerdy Book Club?

I’d like to add a thank you to those who make this professional network the stimulating, invigorating source that it is.  I am grateful for the energy I receive from those individuals eager to reflect on their craft, share, and learn from one another.  With that in mind, many Tweeps have been sharing literacy goals and reading resolutions ala @Donalynbooks.  There have been some literacy snapshots that illustrate these goals from Nerdy friends as well.  I’d like to share some of my  students’ work below. Thankful for the conversations these create in our classrooms; it offers an opportunity for our students to stretch themselves as readers, writers and thinkers.

i love nerds.

When we work to set literacy goals, we know that it is individualized, targeted goals that have the most impact for all learners.  We work hard to help our students achieve these goals.  Teachers benefit from this reflective practice for their own professional growth as well.  If we expect our students to be continuous learners, we need to model the same behaviors.  A mentor for me, Shelley Harwayne said, “Staff development should not be perceived as something we do unto others.  Everyone needs to be swept up by the deeply ingrained value placed on adult learning.  We should all have the opportunity to say, this is my year to study —-.”   Choice empowers. PLN’s energize.  We know that the most effective schools invest in teachers, not programs.  If you’d like to know more, check out @professornana’s blog thread on #theunprogram http://professornana.livejournal.com/tag/unprogram

With the same passions for reading a great book, we can encourage others to share an article, an excerpt… a quote.  How about a #pdbookaday citing an inspiring quote?   Perhaps you will be reminded of a book to revisit, or a new title to add to your T.B.R. “to be read” lists.  Either way, I am excited to learn with you. These are some of my favorite co-teachers.

On Reading:





On Reading & Writing Connections:




On Conferring Assessments & Intentional Language:



Teachers take charge of their own learning.  We know about reading “good fit” books and helping to match books to readers. It is in opportunities like cyber pd book chats such as #booklove #pathccss  or chats such as #engchat, #titletalk, or  #educoach (to name a few), we can maximize the time to learn together. Perhaps you will find a title that is just your size.  Enjoy, read, reflect, be energized.  Then please share, and in the words of @PennyKittle, spread the book love.

JoEllen McCarthy is a teacher and lifelong learner who spends her days working in K- 8 classrooms as a regional staff developer outside of NYC.  She is obsessed with picture books, and continues to be inspired daily by the learning community she has found in the Nerdy Book Club.  She is always learning and can be found blogging at:  ________________________ or on Twitter @imalwayslearnin.

Click here for more energizing quotes for literacy learners and additional titles.