Last night I attended the annual fundraiser Gala for the Boundless Readers Foundation.  Boundless Readers, originally Rochelle Lee after its founder, is a Chicago institution and a little bit of a “best kept secret.”  The mission of Boundless Readers is to put books in the hands of children and learning in the minds of teachers.  They do an excellent job.  I have gone from an individual awardee to a study group coach and this summer I will join the ranks of teachers who provide PD workshops to new grant awardees.

There were many speakers who talked about how Boundless Readers has impacted teachers and students over the years.  As I listened to them I thought about myself as a new teacher, I thought about the path I have been on.  I have been very lucky.

I was lucky to find my second teaching job at an amazing school with a strong professional learning community.  I was lucky that this school insisted I become involved with Boundless Readers.  I have been lucky to have supportive colleagues and good opportunities to grow.  I have been lucky enough to meet and work with internationally known authors and staff developers.  So I wonder….what happens to teachers who aren’t lucky?

I tell this to people and they say, Katie you would have been fine no matter where you were!  Maybe.  I might have been fine, but I wouldn’t have been fortunate, and I wouldn’t have grown the way I have.  I wouldn’t know even half of what I know now and I might not have the thirst to learn more that drives me to work long hours into the night.

Organizations like Boundless Readers offer all teachers an opportunity to learn and collaborate regardless of their school climate.  When multiple teachers from a school become involved it can completely change the culture of the school for good.  And when that box of books arrives children see that they are valued and important enough to get brand new quality literature to read.  Perhaps we make our own luck, I just don’t know.

Categories: Slice of Life Challenge | Tags: | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Lucky?

  1. What a great program! And I don’t know about you being lucky, but I think the teachers who will learn from you this summer will be lucky to learn from you.

  2. Wow! That sounds like a fantastic program. I agree, that you would have been fine anywhere. Sometimes professional development is what YOU make it. You’re working into the night because that’s the kind of teacher/person you are. All of those opportunities are bonuses. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Okay, so first – congratulations about taking a leadership role in this marvelous endeavor (now I want to/need to know how to get involved) . Second, you would be the teacher you are no matter where you were – you just have int in you, although the supportive and forward looking school community helps. Third, do we make our own luck? Yes, we do! My school is in the dark ages about so much, and we have terrible morale issues with our teachers – but I made my luck by reaching out to teachers like you through forums like this, schlepping myself off to TC whenever I could (whether the district paid for me to or not), and finding satisfaction in my kids and their learning potential. That’s it for the ole soap box…thanks for your post, as always, Katie!

  4. This is an interesting way of wondering. I suppose it is a bit of both. Certainly there are other teachers who could have been faced with opportunities like you have been afforded and they might have done little to nothing with those opportunities. Sure, you are lucky to have things fall into place like they have, but you are obviously also responsible for making something greater out of what is around you. You work to be part of such a great community, you work to make your school such a special place for students and teachers to be. Keep at it (and don’t stop sharing)!

  5. The reason you got the job in a school with a strong professional development outlook was because you are a learner, always seeking more knowledge. They saw that in the interview and said she’s a good match. It wasn’t luck that put you in this place, but hard work. You are so fortunate to have the opportunities to extend your learning through various means. Those who are not “lucky” must have a drive to put themselves in the learning boat if the school doesn’t offer it. I’ve been in both kinds of schools.

  6. I think you make a good point. I don’t know if it is luck, but I do think where you are can make a difference. I have been “lucky” too. I’ve managed to find a district that values professional learning and conversations. I’ve been “lucky” to find circles of people who value children and push themselves (and me) to think about what is best for learning. I’ve been “lucky” to find reading/writing/thinking communities that continually inspire me. I don’t know how it happens, I just know I’m grateful that I have had so many wonderful learning opportunities. Good luck with your endeavors. I will look forward to following your journey.


  7. Pingback: Feeling Lucky Again « Coffee Fueled Musings

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