Nerd Camp!

This fall, I participated in Nerd Camp Long Island and WOW was it ever fun! Nerd Camp is a professional development “un-conference” for teachers centered around reading and writing and of course, books.

Back in September, I wrote a guest post for the Nerdy Book Club blog about my fascination with point of view (POV). So when rockstar teacher Kristen Picone invited me to Nerd Camp, I immediately thought of leading a session on teaching POV in the classroom.

  When we arrived at Nerd Camp, there was a blank session board. It was up to us to fill it in!

When we arrived at Nerd Camp, there was a blank session board. It was up to us to fill it in!

On November 7th, more than 400 teachers and two dozen authors gathered on Long Island, ready to share and learn and embrace our mutual nerdy-ness.  The energy was incredible!

  Top left: Arrival! Top right: Cake! Bottom: Author panel!

Top left: Arrival! Top right: Cake! Bottom: Author panel!

To say that I was excited and nervous about leading a session for a room full of teachers would be a HUGE understatement. But thanks to rockstar teacher Jason Lewis who helped me put together an interactive presentation based on the FENWAY AND HATTIE classroom guide, it turned out great!

  Leading the session on POV - Photo courtesy of Kristen Picone

Leading the session on POV - Photo courtesy of Kristen Picone

From the very first moment, those teachers were ON FIRE. Their enthusiasm for POV and the creativity they put into each exercise blew me away. When our hour was up, it took a long time for the classroom to empty out, even though it was time for lunch!  

Aside from my POV session, my biggest highlight was hanging out with teacher friends – those I already knew plus the amazing new friends I made. Everyone was welcoming and friendly and eager to learn and share. And man, did we ever talk about books!

In the afternoon, I had the honor of participating in my very first author panel, as well as signing advance reader copies of FENWAY AND HATTIE that Penguin had very generously donated for the event. It was a thrill to sign books for the first time – almost all of which went to elementary school classrooms. And if that wasn’t enough, Penguin also provided printed copies of the F&H classroom guide for teachers to take home!

  Top: My signing table! Bottom left: Fenway poster! Bottom right: Hanging out with fellow Putnam/Penguin author Corey Rosen Schwartz!

Top: My signing table! Bottom left: Fenway poster! Bottom right: Hanging out with fellow Putnam/Penguin author Corey Rosen Schwartz!

All in all, Nerd Camp was a phenomenal event that I will always remember. I’m so grateful to Kristen, Jason, and all the other Nerdy Book Club friends who made this incredible experience possible!