Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gifts from heart to heart

at Two Writing Teachers!
 You almost didn't get to read this today, because I almost didn't write.

After school today, I was plodding to the mailroom with too many thoughts zipping through my brain. Lessons. Exams. Planning PD. Upcoming units. Christmas gifts. Christmas cards. Thank-you notes. Slicing. Ugh, slicing. I should just skip it today. I'm exhausted.

When I rounded the corner, I could see two bulging interoffice mail envelopes jammed into my mailbox. Oh boy, maybe a present from my mom? I grabbed an envelope and rushed to unravel the string. Hmm, feels like books though. What on earth???

Three books and a note, all from my new colleague and friend, Stella!

She called me a "fellow writer". Stella, who writes for Choice Literacy, called me a writer. Even now, when I know I'm a writer, there's such power in that name. The name "writer" says "I believe in you. I want to know your story. I know you have something special to say to the world, and I want to hear it."

Just two words, but they reverberated through my head. Fellow writer. From exhausted to inspired.

She thought of me when she was at NCTE! She got books for me! One's an ARC. I've never had an ARC of anything before! (I can't wait to read it before the rest of the world can!)
Maybe she just grabbed a whole bunch of books and then decided to send some to various ELL teachers around the district...

Just for me!!!
She really thought of me. Right there, in the midst of NCTE. Stella, the teacher-leader. Stella, who navigates two languages and cultures with such strength and grace. Stella, who has really only talked to me in person a few times. Stella, who was such an exciting addition to our district this year.

Books are gifts from heart to heart. They draw us together: We are the same, you and I. We are readers. We lose ourselves and find ourselves in stories.


  1. The nicest things happen when we least expect them. Keep plodding on, Jennifer. What we're all doing, counting (now) the hours, right? I have such a long list too, and I'm not even working full time! What a sweet colleague you have! Happy holidays to you and your family!

  2. I get that feeling of disbelief too. Someone thought of me? Of course she thought of you, you have that spark of life that ignites those around you. I love how the energy level went sky high when you got your package. Have a great holiday!

  3. Packages are the best... and signed books are awesome! Happy crazy week!

  4. Life is wonderful! I love these surprises! And these particular surprises couldn't have happened to better person! Enjoy reading!
    P.S. Make PD fun! Maybe some surprise presents (sugar does help people focus:-)) As soon as materials from my PD get posted, I will send you the link!

  5. Stella is a jewel. I was with her on our trip home and she was so excited about the books she had gotten for her fellow teachers. Ask her how those books made her trip through luggage check and TSA a bit more interesting;-)
    You are a jewel as well. Your enthusiasm and care for your students, your teaching craft ...... And your writing are gifts to us all.


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