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Thriving in Practice

Okay everyone, today I’ve been passed the digital baton in the blog tour celebrating Meenoo Rami’s book Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching.

If you haven’t caught wind of the energy and momentum with which Meenoo’s book arrived, I encourage you to look back at the various other digital stops of the online tour:

4/9/14: Teach Mentor Texts!

4/10/14: Franki Sibberson and Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading

4/11/14: Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy

4/12/14: Kira Baker Doyle at Kira J Baker-Doyle, Ph.D.

4/13/14: Sarah Mulhern Gross at The Reading Zone

4/14/14: Christina Cantrill at Digital Is (National Writing Project)

4/16/14: Beth Shaum at Use Your Outside Voice

4/17/14: Linda Baie at Teacher Dance

4/18/14: Troy Hicks at Hickstro

4/19/14: Joy Kirr at Genius Hour

4/20/14: Tara Smith at A Teaching Life

4/21/14: Antero Garcia at The American Crawl

4/22/2014: John Spencer at Education Rethink

4/23: Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsberg at Unleashing Readers

That list, in and of itself, is emblematic of what I find so powerful about Thrive. Meenoo’s network of friends, colleagues, and collaborators helps generate and expand ideas that stemmed from the book. More than a parade of reviews, Meenoo’s work is sustaining some deep thinking and powerful dialogue across these blog stops. For example, instead simply rehashing the praise that is found on the back of the book, Troy Hicks uses his tour stop to encourage Meenoo to share her thinking regarding how digital writing affects her students’ work. Thrive encourages more than just reviews. There is a coming together of interested educators through this online tour that is a powerful meta-reflection of some of the key ideas in Thrive.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how Meenoo and I first met. It’s possible that we met at one of many NWP functions we’ve both been engaged in. It’s equally likely it was while she was hosting an #engchat discussion one night. Or perhaps it was at the NCTE annual conference. Or a NBPTS thing. Or a Connected Learning webinar. Or Educon. Or. Or. Or. Meenoo’s networks run deep! Her interactions are meaningful and lasting–both with her students and with her peers. And while this paragraph sounds mainly like I am gloating about being friends with such an awesome educator, I wanted to highlight how Meenoo’s professional life exemplifies the principles of renewal and connection that are so clear in her book.

In fact, one of the strongest aspects of Thrive is that Meenoo packs in the stories, voices, and ideas of so many of her peers. Whether it is sidebar profiles throughout, excerpts of Twitter discussions, or an integration of research in her own writing, Meenoo’s book is more than just her own work; it is a bound compendium. It is the closest you can get to seeing a living network breathe across pages.

Many of my students at CSU are reading Thrive for my colleague Cindy’s class. It is clear that the ideas that have been resonating with me have been doing the same for my students. More than any other testament of the book’s value is hearing students–often feeling burnt out as they prepare for student teaching next semester–share sentiments such as, “This book is unlike anything that I have read before.  It is simple, accessible, and focused.”

I look forward to this dialogue continuing to unfold  at tomorrow’s stop over at edrethink.

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