Last week I had an incredible time in Columbus, OH and I even got to visit schools in Dublin, OH. I presented with my mum and my teacher friend, Deb Craig at the Dublin Literacy Conference and it was A LOT of fun sharing my LivBit story! The best part of the conference was meeting teachers who really knew my work and have been using it with their students.
At the conference, I had many people come up to me and say hello. I felt so proud teachers were excited to meet me and called themselves “fans.” I think when you say you are a fan of someone, it means that you value what she does. I’ve been waiting A LOT of days to meet Cris Tovani because I am a FAN OF HER and she didn’t let me down.
In her session, she talked about the power of kid questions, and she shared funny stories about how sometimes students can give her a hard time. Listening to Cris made me think about how important wondering is. When you wonder, you get more questions, and when you get more questions, you want to learn more. I think it’s true that sometimes teachers ask questions that don’t really matter to kids. If you want kids to learn more and be excited about learning new things, you HAVE to leave space for REAL questions by kids.
I think it is really cool that Cris took the time to come to MY session! It was special because it showed me that she wanted to learn about the LivBit work even more. I am really grateful when grown ups take time to come hear me in person. Sometimes, on social media, people feel like they ALREADY know everything about you. The truth is, they really only know one side of you. Taking time to hear someone’s message IN PERSON let’s you see another side of who they are, and hopefully, this makes you want to follow them more deeply.
Social media platforms can create weird ways of “knowing” people. I think you should ALWAYS be the same in person as you are online. If you post about supporting kids and kid ideas, you should show that in your real life. I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and I‘ve met a lot of people, and I love when people I am a fan of match how I know them online.
I’m an “equal opportunity liker” on social media. That means is that I like to #celebrateothers by liking and retweeting their messages. I’ve found that some people can even be weird about retweeting and liking. Sometimes people on social media only like you when they feel “bigger” than you. They stop supporting you if they feel like you’re a threat. It’s been hard for me to learn this lesson.
But, social media HELPED me connect to Ohio. And, there were some really special moments when I was visiting the schools in Dublin. A few of them will stay with me FOREVER because of the way my #heartbeeped. When I walked into one classroom, TWO students started crying because they were so happy to meet me. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think, but then my brain told me how meaningful this time was for the kids and for ME! I got to meet teachers who understood the power of a kid TEACHING kids. I even got to surprise an entire class of 4th graders, and I could tell from their reaction their teacher has used my videos in really important ways. It was super fun signing autographs, but really I just liked that the kids admired my work so much that it inspired them to try to make their own Bits.
I got three messages from kids in Dublin that I will carry with me FOREVER. Their messages are the reason I want to keep sharing my story. Learning doesn’t just happen in school. Learning happens everywhere! This week, my learning happened in Ohio; it’s like that state opened up its arms and hugged me. It was one of the BEST hugs I’ve ever had. Thank you, Ohio! #LoveYouMeanIt
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