A: Invisible Friends and Professional Development.
Let me explain. In the summer of 2011, I was at the Iowa State Fair. I had my phone out and I was checking my twitter feed. Back then, Flannel Friday was mostly a community on Twitter. It was a Friday and I wanted to check and see the different posts that were flying that week. One of my friends said, “Oh, put your phone down and stop playing with your invisible friends.” Little did he know.
The thing I value most about Flannel Friday is the real sense of community I feel within it. These are my colleagues. They know when I’m having a bad day, or that I’m about to have my gallbladder out. We’re miles apart , yet I feel like I know these women. I’ve come to value their opinions. And they’re funny and keep me current. I knew about Pinterest months before my work colleagues, woot! (Actually FFers helped me use “woot” properly in a sentence…)
And, like any friend, they’re there for me: Late yesterday, someone told me the code for this round-up’s bling wasn’t working. Pure panic. I followed the instructions and it seemed to work for me… but not for others. When they should have been sleeping, they fixed it. That’s community. Greg’s comment may have been a joke, but these are my invisible friends. Invisibility doesn’t mean they’re absent, they’re just not seen.
I value the community of Flannel Friday and I appreciate the vast amount of knowledge I’m exposed to weekly.
Two years ago my story times centered on the joy of the literature. Our library didn’t really focus on early literacy. Story time was about the fun. We were definitely practicing early literacy elements, but we didn’t have the vocabulary. Flannel Friday gave me the vocabulary. For instance: my post about Make a Pig: In the comments Miss Mary elegantly explained the concept behind this fun activity: children using their expressive language. I’ve always known I wanted them to use words while participating with Make a Pig, but expressive language just explains it better, doesn’t it?
In the two years since I’ve been a part of Flannel Friday, I have come to understand how story times can be a delicious blend of “the joy of literature” and helping children become life long readers. It’s such a great job, isn’t it?