TEACHERS ARE ROCK STARS BY JOSH FUNK
Teachers are rock stars. And librarians. You’re all rock stars. Every member of the Nerdy Book Club rocks. I’ve been tagged (only a couple times) in tweets with the hashtag #AuthorsAreRockStars, to which I scoff, “P’shaw!” I’m just a normal guy. We all shop at the same Target. We probably use the same toilet paper (brand, not square). I just happened to be fortunate enough to get a book published.
You, on the other hand … I don’t know how you do it. You stand up every day in front of dozens, if not hundreds of students. You spend your “free” time planning lessons, grading assignments, writing reports, responding to student/parent/teacher/administrator emails, and trying to stay on top of today’s bureaucratic educational standards and responsibilities (but you don’t need me to tell you what it is you do – you already know).
Yet somehow you manage to read almost every book ever published. And then tweet about them. And blog about them. And share your love for them. And share this love with your students. And plan nErDcamps all over the world to share how you share your love of books. And that is why you rock.
On a personal level, the Nerdy Book Club (the assemblage of members) has been immeasurably welcoming. I’m not an educator (although I am married to one). Until I had children of my own, I wasn’t really even a very good reader (more on that in some future post). Most of the time, I feel like I don’t really belong here. But, as I said, the Nerdy Book Club has always been incredibly welcoming.
The dawning of the Nerdy Book Club occurred around the same time that I began attempting to write books for children. I hovered around on twitter, following your blogs, discovering the books that you loved, dreaming about one day being mentioned on your sites. I tweeted out your It’s Monday What Are You Reading (#IMWAYR) posts wondering if someday a book I wrote might actually appear in one. Maybe a character I created would end up in your #TopTenTuesday. I imagined answering your students’ five questions and having your words in one color and mine in another. I even fantasized about getting to post on the actual Nerdy Book Club website.*
See, in my world, you’ve always been are the real superstars. I attended nErDcampMI last summer, and it was like a celebrity cruise. Everywhere I turned, it was as if someone’s tiny little avatar come to life. “Look, there’s Reader of books, teacher of English. I recognize that K-4 Teacher-Librarian and lover of books! And I just got a ride from Elementary school teacher & Kidlit Cheerleader!” (I love nErDcamps so much I’ve since been to nErDcampLI and nErDcampNNE and I’ll be back at nErDcampMI this summer)
And then, I wrote a book that a publisher decided to print. And some people started noticing. But I’m still the same dude. You may have read my book on a Monday, but I still shop at that same Target. You may have been excited about Baron von Waffle on a Tuesday, but I still use Charmin, just like you. And I may be posting here, on THE Nerdy Book Club, today, but it’s only because I was fortunate enough to trick a publisher into publishing a few hundred silly words I wrote.
Authors are rock stars? Sure, maybe some are. But to me (and to many other authors), you – the teachers and librarians and members of the Nerdy Book Club – you’re the real rock stars.
*I could have and should have filled out this simple online form saying I wanted to be a Nerdy blogger (it’s also on the banner above) – go ahead and fill it out now!
Josh Funk is the author of the Nerdy Book Club Award winning picture book LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST, along with the forthcoming picture books PIRASAURS! (Scholastic, available 8.30.16), DEAR DRAGON (Viking/Penguin, available 9.6.16), and more. Josh is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences. Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________. Find out more about Josh Funk at www.joshfunkbooks.com and on Twitter at @joshfunkbooks.