A lot of people think teachers are heroes. I usually agree. But for me, there are a few who have taken teaching to a new level by teaching me how to be a better teacher. Sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine, doesn’t it? Seriously though, I am at a point in my life where I could just coast to the end of my career and never stretch myself by learning anything new. These people make learning more about my profession exciting, and that makes them heroic in my book.
Laura Randazzo- What can I say about Laura? She’s brilliant, down-to-earth, generous, and she gets what it is to be a teacher, so the stuff she writes is so applicable, user-friendly, and just plain awesome. If you don’t know who she is, you should. I could go on TPT, buy everything she’s ever created, and never have to touch another piece of curriculum. She’s got a real knack for creating lessons that speak to kids and make teachers look good. It doesn’t get anymore genius than that. If you teach secondary English, you should worship at her altar, as I do. Here is her blog, Solutions for the Secondary Classroom. You should also check out her TPT store and peruse all the greatness there. If I ever got the chance to meet her, I think I would faint into a geek-overload haze of disbelief. Are you getting that I love this woman?
Kylene Beers- Moving on. Let’s talk about teaching reading, shall we? If we’re going to talk about reading, we have to talk about Kylene Beers. First off, she’s a Texan like me. So yeah, that’s awesome. Second of all, I’ve actually met her, and she is one of THE nicest, most humble humans on this earth. She does what she does so that as many teachers are out there teaching kids to excel as possible. She takes her job seriously, and she will help you in any way she can so that you can be the best teacher you can be. Her Notice and Note and When Kids Can’t Read are books that every English educator should own. They should be dog-eared, annotated, and loved within an inch of their lives because they are such amazing tools for classroom teachers. I met her at this year’s TALE conference, and I was thrilled to be able to interact with her in person. I even ended up with her best friend as my discussion partner!
Ashley Bible- Okay, the next one is a great one. If you’re active on Instagram, you’ve probably heard of @buildingbooklove. The genius English diva behind this great blog is Ashley Bible. If you don’t follow her, you’re missing out! Visit her blog, Building Book Love, and sign up for her newsletters. You won’t be sorry. This school year she took us through the Clean Classroom Challenge, and it has changed my whole set up! We Marie Kondoed the crap out of our rooms, and got rid of things that were holding us back in terms of organizing our spaces. She created a Facebook group for the challenge, so we were able to share our frustrations and successes with people who were doing the same things we were. Here are a couple of pics from my experience:
After spending the week cleaning and purging, I’ve been able to leave my desk clean at the end of every day. I make sure I take the 5 seconds it takes to file something instead of letting the pile build up. I’m so glad I took her challenge! As with Ms. Randazzo, if I ever got the chance to meet Ashley, I’d be completely verklempt!
There are a few more, like @thatravenclawteacher, that make me want to fangirl so hard. If you haven’t seen pictures of the makeover that she and her colleagues have accomplished at her school, you seriously need to check it out. She and @slytherintomath have transformed their school into Hogwarts! So much so that the cast of Fantastic Beasts actually visited their school! Agh! I’m green with envy, but so happy for them too. As a fellow HP nerd, I covet their hallway and wish I could duplicate their genius.
The Daring English Teacher, Nouvelle ELA, The Bespoke ELA Classroom- I could go on and on! I’m going to the TPT conference in Austin this summer, and I’m really hoping to meet some of these amazing people. They have inspired and driven me to be a better teacher, teacherpreneur, and person.