Professional Development Spotlight: For the Love of Learning

Throughout the school year and during the summer months, MJS faculty and staff fully embrace the abundant opportunities for professional development. Whether webinar, single day conference or multi-day institute, our teachers never stop learning. Here Cathy Lin, Assistant Librarian, shares her latest experience.

For the Love of the Written Word
Cathy Lin

I made my way this summer to Parma, Michigan based on a series of Twitter posts I've been following for the past two Julys. The impetus for the trip was thanks largely in part to an ongoing stream of photos showing positively giddy individuals standing under puffy gold and silver balloons that spelled out NERD. What really prompted me to travel 2,200 miles away was that I wanted to be part of "the tribe," a community of authors, illustrators, teachers and librarians that warmly and genuinely celebrated the love of the written word.

I tell friends being at nErDcampMI was like being at the literary Oscars. For two days, I rubbed shoulders with authors, networked and talked shop with teacher librarians whom I've admired from afar. Session after session, we all brainstorm ways to sustain a love a reading with our own tribes back at home and I never would've imagined a little piece of heaven could be found in a small town in Michigan.

  • Veteran nErDcampMI attendees encouraged me to sign up for everything so I did
  • Kate DiCamillo as a surprise guest speaker dazzling everyone with her storytelling ability in person
  • After 5K Run/Walk, I spotted an oversized fan in the gym and made a beeline to it in order to cool down....only to find author Minh Lê had the same idea. We chatted and I brought new life to the term fan girl
  • At the Nerdy Dinner, Raina Telegemeier said YES to sitting at our table (I was wearing her Smile tee)
  • Volunteering at nErDcamp Jr., I sat entranced with the dozen kids I was supervising as we all hung on to author Kelly Barnhill's every word about writing
  • Meeting Debbie Ridpath Ohi and a) learning to get creative with found art b) watching her transform 3 coffee stains into art
  • Meeting Pernille Ripp, Stacey Riedmiller, Colby Sharp and so many passionate educators
  • Day Two session to simply sit and read for an hour (!)
The best highlight: Walking away recharged for 2016-2017 year.

Mayfield Junior School

Located in Pasadena, California, Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child Jesus is a K-8 Catholic coeducational private school. Our kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school experience best prepares students for high school education and beyond.