Bathroom Encounters

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

(The title of this blog entry makes me think of a cheesy late-night movie on Cinemax, but it’s been a long day and that’s all that comes to mind.)

Today I attended at drop out prevention workshop that shall remain nameless. It was an okay pitch for a career curriculum thingy but nothing super fabulous.  About an hour in I realized I had consumed way too much Diet Pepsi (DON’T JUDGE!) Being the teacher/learner/nerd that I am, I like to try to wait until actual breaks are given before running to the potty. Our presenter must have either A) had a 2 gallon bladder or B) didn’t drink the same amount of diet soda that I did…

Eventually, we were given a 10 minute break and I hustled to the restroom. As I was washing my hands I overheard 2 ladies discussing a book called Reading Reasons, by Kelly Gallagher. Being the shy, introverted gal that I am I gently interjected …


(Honestly, folks…it was like two 12 year old girls meeting and discovering they’re both Justin Beiber’s #1 fan. I might have been embarrassed had I not been so excited to meet another nerd.)

My new BBFF (bathroom best friend forever!) started tossing out book titles and authors at me.

“Have you read The Book Whisperer? That book totally changed the way I teach!”  (I grin like an idiot.)
“Oh, and there’s a digital writing one by some guy….Troy? I think it’s Troy something.”
(I’m not the quickest mouse in the maze but some alarms started to ring. I had to ask…)

“Are you a Writing Project person?”

Okay, so it turns out she was NOT a writing project person. She was however very familiar with the work of the National Writing Project. Sadly, we were running out of break time, but here’s the rundown of what happened during our potty break:

  1. Rachel (my new BBFF) was signing up for Twitter so she could get in on the NWP action.
  2. I told her she was total NWP material and she needed to get her butt into a summer institute ASAP!
  3. I felt like a rock star for knowing Donalyn Miller and Troy Hicks, about who she had wonderful things to say.

We did exchange contact info and chatted a bit after the workshop was finished. I was so excited to meet this super smart teacher who I knew would be a wonderful addition to the NWP family. I also had a moment of sadness when I thought about the funding issues…would there even be a summer institute for her to attend? But, I pushed that aside. My assistant principal said earlier in the day, “It’s not about the program. It’s about the people.” He was referring to the career curriculum our presenter so enthusiastically wanted us to try, but it applies to NWP as well.

We may not get the federal funding that allows us to do the same levels of incredible work all over the country. The Writing Project that I know and love may exist in a different form. But, even without those federal dollars I know that we will continue to do good work. We will find those good teachers and bring them into our family. That’s just the way I see the NWP. We’re a family. The NWP is about the people…the people that work every day to be better than they were the day before…the people that share their knowledge and ideas…the people that want their students to be able to express themselves…to give them a voice.

I’m glad I’m one of those people.


(Oh, be sure to show Rachel the Twitter-love. Her handle is @_Mrs_Miller_)

  1. […] April Estep – Bathroom Encounters […]

  2. ah, alas, the doors that close when one is born a male

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