I'm not sure Franki knew I was stalking her so many years ago. I was trying to be very undercover about it. I didn't keep any written records so this is all from memory and the year went not noted. I had switched school districts I was teaching in and looking for some professional development while getting additional hours beyond my masters degree for salary advancement. I attend a Literacy Connection meeting and realized I might have been the only person from my district there. I sat at a table near Franki and Max Brand. Yes, I was undercover stalking him too. I lingered a bit when the group started forming small study groups. I really wanted to be in a study group with Franki and Max. Her friend in need radar must have been on and somehow I got invited to join their study group! This is the beginning of my journey with our kind, warm hearted Franki.
#ifnotforfranki - I may not have kept going to the Literacy Connection on my own. For several years I went in hopes of connecting with her and Max. It worked and I am a better teacher from my yearly learning with this wonderful group of local professionals.
#ifnotforfranki - I wouldn't be writing for Choice Literacy. At the Literacy Connection one year, I had written a piece that she said, "this could be an article." My reply, "no way!" Franki's reply, "I will email it to Brenda Power and then she will be in contact with you." My work and friends via the Choice Literacy uplifted me professionally and personally. They continue to do so today and I'm honored to call them all my friends.
#ifnotforfranki - I didn't have an anxiety attack when Choice Literacy came to do some video taping in my room. She made it sound very easy and of course talked up how much fun it would be.
#ifnotforfranki - I wouldn't have transitioned from teaching K to 3rd without reading her professional writing on reading and guiding everything I did back then.
#ifnotforfranki - somewhere along the way I made a twitter account and joined the fun.
#ifnotforfranki - somewhere along the way when I transitioned back to K, I created this blog.
#ifnotforfranki - I may not have fallen in love with the NCTE conference.
I could pinch myself daily. I feel blessed and fortunate to have met a mentor of mine in person and talk with her as a colleague and a friend. I told Franki once she was an infection. Her spirit, inspiration, and motivation is contagious. Except with this infection we don't need any antibiotics we just need to touch base with Franki again when we start to feel a bit out of kilter. She is bound to agree with you or help push your thinking to get you back on track and/or rising to the next hurdle on your journey.
Thank you Franki.