#SOL17: “There’s No Place Like . . .”

Think back to a “Best Time of Your Life”.  Where were you?  What were you doing?  What made it “THE BEST”?

If you were to return to that place of your “Best Time of Your Life” right this minute, do you think it would be exactly as you remember it?

dorothy clicking her heels

“There’s no place like TCRWP!”

Picture this:



1399 colleagues (?)

Magnificent Riverside Church

“We come from . . .”

A call to action from Lucy Calkins.

We can.

We must.

Ignite the passion

In our students.

“Don Murray: Writing is not easy nor should it be.”

We don’t just recount.

We make meaning in our writing.

And later,

To celebrate the day’s end

A thunderstorm

A double rainbow

double rainbow kitty donohoe

    A Double Rainbow:          Kitty Donohoe, Twitter

Ready to begin anew!

June Writing Institute 2013

My initiation

My trepidation

And yet, filling a hole in my teacher soul

June Writing Institute 2014

Back to fill in the holes in my knowledge

Back to “be with my tribe”

Still anxious about all I did NOT know

June Writing Institute 2015

Armed with a plan

Specific session criteria

And questions for staff developers.

June Writing Institute 2016

Finally knowing “something”

Writing before, during, and after

Adding new knowledge

Consolidating and validating previous learnings

and this year, waiting for

August Writing Institute 2017

Because there’s no place like home with your writerly friends

The Learning at

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project!

So this week I’m following along on Twitter

Checking in for “learning bread crumbs”

Planning for that return to “My Best Learning Place on Earth”!

#TCRWP Writing Institute and #TCRWP Reading Institute

I already know that even though I’m attending in August this year, #TCRWP Writing and Reading Institutes will be better than ever!  Much writing and reading (and tweets) before then . . . See you soon!

Where do you go for inspiration?  

That feeling of “belonging”?  

And yet, where you are also “pushed” to be a better you, a stronger you, a more capable you?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      

27 responses

  1. I can tell just how much growth the institutes have promoted in you. I wish I could go to more, but will be teaching in higher ed and don’t think I will be able to. There’s Saturdays though! I come to this community and my other PLNs for growth. There’s no other way than being a part of an incredible, talented, brilliant community to feed our minds and souls.

    1. Aileen,
      I don’t know if it’s the setting (beginning in Riverside Church) or just Lucy’s opening keynote, but is is so much about feeding our minds and souls!

  2. Linda Lee Kauffmann | Reply

    Fran, thank you from the bottom of my heart for filling the void I feel by not being able to attend the institutes and recharge my educator soul with all the energy that is present when we are together in that setting. Your postings truly keep us all connected. I truly hope one day to be able to say thank you in person! This was an especially lovely post and reminded me that this work is indeed important and worthy of the passion we still hold on to.

    1. You are welcome, Linda! ❤

  3. Fran, I love how you show that returning to your best learning place on earth has grown and become better and how you have grown as a writer, teacher, person, with it. I look forward to your posts about the Writing Institute.

    1. I think it’s important to share that we are ALL learning. And even though I’ve retired from the previous job, I am NOT done learning and also not done WORKING for improved literacy for ALL kids!

  4. This conference is on my “bucket list” if you will. Thanks for sharing this inspiration. I’m on a journey to find that new place for belonging. This is encouragement to keep on the journey! Thanks!

    1. Kendra,
      I have NEVER felt as welcomed as I have at TCRWP. And that goes for my first summer. Chris Lehmann was so gracious. As were so many others – Kate Roberts, Lucy Calkins herself, Colleen Cruz . . . I was starstruck. It’s about relationships and belonging! ❤

  5. Love this clever and insightful post.

    1. Thanks, Vanessa!
      It was FUN to write!

  6. Love the double rainbow. My first writing project summer conference at TC was in 1993. It seems so long ago. I had just started my doctorate and took the summer course for credit. Your post triggered memories for me as well. Thank you.

    1. Mary Ann,
      I don’t know why I didn’t hear of this until 2012. NYC is just way too far from the Midwest! You are so welcome! I can’t even comprehend where I would be if I had gone to TC in ’93! ❤

  7. Someday I will sit alongside you at a TCRWP Institute, Fran! This year I am attending the Montana Writing Project, focusing on how I can use poetry w/my kinders this year to help them develop and grow their reading & writing skills. Good times ahead!

    1. I envy you the MWP. I’ve always wanted to attend one of those! But I’m totally hooked on #TCRWP. Love the intensity of the 2 sessions all week long with the keynotes and choices!!!

  8. I miss you here! I count you as one of my strong writing mentors and so appreciated you welcoming me to TC last year! I can’t wait to learn from you in August and will share what my big learning is this week too!

    1. You will have amazing learning with Mary and Colleen! They are such masters! (But will also make you think!)

      Miss you too!

  9. It’s that kind of place, isn’t it?! Love it , too!

    1. It is that kind of place . . . filled with passionate learners and teachers inspiring all to grow and grow! ❤

  10. Being at TC is a gift. So lucky to be here. Looking forward to reading about your learning in August!

    1. It is such a gift and definitely one to be treasured! Can’t wait to see how your week progresses as well as your planning for fourth grade!

  11. I always find your undying passion so inspiring, Fran. I look forward to your Slices and Tweets when it’s your turn to attend. I’m following along now, too!

    1. Thank you!
      I have been told that I am “too passionate” but I think that’s a good thing! If you want a dose of this week check out Julieanne Harmatz’s Blog, To Read To Write To Be. Her posts are amazing! ❤

      1. Who could ever call you “too passionate,” Fran??? 🙂

      2. Folks that like the status quo?

  12. Checking in for learning breadcrumbs – I might have to borrow that idea, Fran. I love that image! How lucky to attend so often.

    1. Thanks, Mandy.
      Sometimes the learning is evident in huge breadcrumbs. Sometimes not!

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