SOL 17: A Literary Feast: TCRWP’s Saturday Reunion

Today I was immersed in words. Powerful words. Poignant words. Inspiring words. This is what happens when you attend a Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Saturday Reunion.

This day-long celebration of literacy is a veritable feast of learning and professional development. Educators travel from around the world to be part of this amazing experience. As I have for more than ten years, I left my house before dawn this morning to join them. By the end of the day, my head was spinning with all I had learned. I need time to process by notes and clarify my thoughts. In the meantime, here is a peek into my day.

Made it to the station in time!


This thought-provoking interview in the current issue of the Horn Book kept me company on the train.


“Subway” by Billy Collins was the Poetry in Motion poster on the shuttle from Grand Central.


Alfred Tatum urged us to ensure that meaningful literacy exchanges that move our humanity and that of our students forward are always part of our literacy instruction.


Eric Hand opened his session on writers notebooks with the wise words of friend and fellow Slicer, Michelle Haseltine.


Emily Butler Smith shared these quotes as an option for using literacy skills to support work in social studies.


Annie Taranto shared ideas for making writing goals public.


I met Slicer and TWT co-author Lanny Ball at Mike Ochs’s session on grammar and vocabulary instruction. (The bottom line? Read. Read more.)

By the end of this session, my cold was getting the best of me and I reluctantly decided to miss Lucy’s closing keynote. Thanks to the wonder of Twitter, I was able to tune in to Lucy’s moving words as she remembered Kathleen Tolan: “It is an enormous act of love to see potential.”

My thanks to everyone at TCRWP who makes these Saturday Reunions possible. Your words of guidance, support, and encouragement help me see my students with new eyes. Your words help me see their potential.

A fitting view from the train as I headed home.

Thank you to StaceyBetsyBeth, KathleenDeb, MelanieLisa and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

18 thoughts on “SOL 17: A Literary Feast: TCRWP’s Saturday Reunion

  1. Catherine, I was waiting for your post of the Saturday Reunion. I had gone for years and absolutely loved every minute but this year there were just too many other things going on. I am glad that you heard Alfred Tatum. He is impressive. I have heard him speak several times and we had him for our literacy conference on Long Island several year ago. His work in Chicago with struggling students is impressive.

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  2. This was the first reunion I’ve missed in a lot of years. No one to make the 5 hour predawn drive to New York from Boston with me. I didn’t think about the train. Twitter help me catch up but it’s not the same as the incredible immersion. What a gift. Love your pictures.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your insightful comments and inspiring photos for this TCRWP reunion even when you weren’t feeling well. You helped all of us who couldn’t be there feel a little more connected.

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  4. Thanks for the quick synopsis of your day. The Emily Butler Smith session looked good, and so did Shana Frazen’s session on series books. My colleagues were there early enough to grab a shot with Lucy. The keynote message you noted in your caption, “that move our humanity,” is one to ponder deeply. If we made every decision with that in mind, we would in fact be contributing to a healthier generation. I look forward to the days ahead as I know you will share more details.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Look how wrapped up you and Lanny are! I hope the temperatures rise this week. Such wonderful posts about the TC reunion. I’m glad you were able to go. Now go have a cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

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