I looked at http://www.indianayoungwriters.org with a student yesterday, and I found a picture that was familiar. Author Ralph Fletcher, and a teaching colleague from my school were together on the site’s thumbnail pictures. As I scrolled through, looking for the information I wanted, my student stopped me and said, “Hey, isn’t that Mr. Y from upstairs?” I gasped. It was!
I remembered that day. We traveled to Indianapolis together to attend Ralph’s writing workshop for teachers. I replied, “Yes, it is, and I was standing right there.” (I pointed to the blank part of the screen to the right of my buddy.)
Another student heard me, and jumped up from her desk. “What? Where were you?” I showed her the space on the screen where my body should have been. The young lady said, “You were with Mr. Y? What for?” The young man said, “Wow. That’s cool. You met Ralph Fletcher?” I told the story of how teachers want to learn, too. The advantage is that teachers get to learn from the real published authors sometimes, when organizations like the Indiana Partnership for Young Writers support our learning!
I abandoned my original search on the site and started clicking through the icons. How cool, indeed! Then I saw it — a slide show on the next page — and there, right where I described, was…ME! My girl student yelled out, “There you are! You’re right!” The boy yelled, “Mrs. Sniadecki’s on here!” We shared the find with the class. I couldn’t believe it! I felt famous.
Then I thought of that movie title, “Almost Famous.” I remembered that day, and how exciting it was to watch Ralph speak. The opportunity to rub shoulders with one of the best writers out there made for a fabulous day, but this! Sharing this experience with my students — now a year “plus” later — was amazing!