I have been asked so many questions about my #DBC50Summer journey. Some have called it crazy, some said there’s no way I’d finish, while others were encouraging! Mostly though, I’ve had genuine questions. They have come from a place of curiosity from friends and acquaintances and from a desire to replicate from PLN members.
This final #DBC50Summer post will address each of these questions, and allow you a space in the comments below to ask any other questions you may still have. I will answer those as well, as openly and honestly as I can. I am also throwing in a few resources that may help those that are interested in creating their own version of #DBC50Summer. I also have a super-cool, exciting announcement about what’s next that you don’t want to miss!
What is #DBC50Summer?
I created #DBC50Summer as a celebration of the first 50 books released by Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Using the hashtag, I would share my connections and reflections after reading each of the first 50 books and then implement at least one thing from each book in the 2018-2019 school year in an effort to better my teaching and coaching practices to ultimately benefit student learning, engagement, and empowerment.
Why did you create #DBC50Summer?
In Teach Like A Pirate, Dave Burgess calls it Creative Alchemy. I had nearly half of the collection sitting on a bookshelf and had never read most of the books. I always had an excuse not to read the books; I never have time, something came up, I’m tired, and the like. I met Dave in April at a conference where he was keynoting and I was presenting. I left the conference inspired and used social media to connect with Dave, and stay inspired. After connecting with Dave on Twitter and reconnecting with the #tlap community, I realized how much I missed being active in a Professional Learning Network and I wanted to revive my contributions to a PLN. One of the best ways to share what your students are doing is to blog about it. I used to blog fairly regularly but got out of the habit and was uninspired. After the conference in April, I was inspired again and wanted to blog frequently but needed something to be accountable for blogging. I really wanted new ideas for the 2018-2019 school year as I was beginning to feel complacent in the day-to-day of my job. Looking at my “problems,” #DBC50Summer was a perfect solution to each of them! Blogging about the DBC, Inc books on my shelves and sharing a new idea gained from each book to create a PLN on Twitter which would better my teaching and coaching practices for my students. I just told my husband that I needed to get the rest of the books (insert diabolical laugh here).
Who else is doing #DBC50Summer?
Several people have created their own version of #DBC50Summer this summer! To my knowledge, none of them have been exactly alike, which is part of what makes it so cool! The first to jump on with me was Andrea Paulakovich, who was referenced in every #DBC50Summer blog post as the creator of the flipgrid space (linked below). She completed nine amazing blog posts this summer and is continuing to read and blog! Andrea and I will be working on a collaborative blog post on Talk to Me by Kim Bearden in the coming weeks! I’m excited to work with her to share the awesome from this book! If you did (or plan to do) your own version of #DBC50Summer, please share a link to your blog in the comments below so others can access your reflections & learn with you!!! I’d also love to tweet it out so my PLN can follow along with you! Don’t be shy!
When did you find the time to do all of this?
Y’all… I have no idea! Like anything else, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find the time to do it. I just found the time. I read during my oldest daughter’s softball practices, I read during my flights to and from Chicago, I read in my hotels while traveling, I read in the hospital when our youngest daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. If there was more than 5 spare moments available, I was reading. I always had the book in my backpack. Almost every night after my family went to bed and the house was quiet, I would sit in the center seat of our sectional in the living room and read until I finished or until I couldn’t hold my eyes open any longer. I typically blogged immediately after completing a book, but there were times that I couldn’t wait and had to blog during the book and there was one time that I had to wait a couple of days because the book wrecked my soul.
Where did you get all of your books?
I owned about half of them before starting. These were purchased through Amazon, won at edcamps, or given to me by friends. I finished the collection with a combination of Amazon gift cards, ordering on Amazon with our credit/debit card and asking my husband for forgiveness later (HA – truth!), gifts from friends who knew about #DBC50Summer, and a few were sent to me from the authors themselves. (They are the most generous people ever!)
Which book is your favorite?
If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked this question, I would have a lot of dollars, haha! Asking me to choose my favorite book is like asking which of my students is my favorite, or asking me to choose who is my favorite among my two daughters. I have a different “favorite” every day. My favorite depends on what I need in the moment. After almost every book, I would tell my husband something along the lines of, “Man, this one is incredible; it might be my new favorite.” He’d just roll his eyes. If I were pinned down and had to choose… I’d say Teach Like A Pirate. Without that book, DBC, Inc may not have ever existed. Without that book, I certainly wouldn’t have ever picked up another one because I “didn’t read professional books”. It was the first time I’ve ever felt “normal” in the classroom. Dave gave me permission to be a bit crazy, unorthodox, FUN! That doesn’t mean that I don’t absolutely LOVE the rest of them! It’s like I tell my daughters, “I love you both for different reasons. You are both special to me because you’re you. We have a different relationship than your sister and I have and that makes you my favorite you.” Similarly, I love every book for a different reason. They are all special to me. I have a different relationship with each author and their words within their book(s) and that makes each one of them my favorite on any given day.
I’m doing a book study at my school; which should I choose?
I have no idea! I will usually ask what you want to accomplish with your book study and go from there. Sometimes, I just throw out some random names of books. For a better answer, check out the new DBC, Inc website (linked in resources below). I LOVE it because it separates the books into themes and allows you to read the first few chapters of each book to get a feel for it. This is an incredible feature that I highly suggest you take advantage of!
Come on… are the authors really that nice?
What kind of question is this? It’s been asked though, by more than one person. The answer is a resounding yes! Every author I have interacted with has been incredible! Some I’ve even formed genuine friendships with that I expect to last a lifetime even though we’ve never met face-to-face. Based on what I know of each one, I’d let them babysit my kids. hahaha! In all seriousness, each one that I’ve talked with, and that’s about 85% of them, have been totally genuine, kind, generous, and incredibly thoughtful. I have chatted with them via Google Hangout, Direct Message on Twitter, recently had multiple friend/follow requests on other social media, and some have been so generous to send (despite assurances that they shouldn’t feel obligated by any means and they responded [nearly every time with] but we want to!) their stickers, a copy of their book, t-shirts, and/or other super cool stuff like placemats for use in math instruction and a huge pack of highlighters. Speaking of highlighters…this is one of my favorite questions…
You post all these videos of the highlighting in the books. How many highlighters have you used exactly?
Fantastic question! I have used 2 packs of 6 Clear View Sharpie highlighters, a pack of 18 Mr. Pen highlighters (sent by an author – thank you!), 4 jumbo Sharpie highlighters, 2 of my daughter’s highlighters for school that I had to replace (oops), and 1 pack of 8 retractable highlighters… so, doing the math (I hope I added correctly) – I’ve used 44 highlighters. RIP highlighters – your mark is your legacy and it will live on forever.
When is your book coming out?
I cannot begin to tell you how much this warms my heart every time someone asks this question! I so appreciate that you have that much confidence in me! I do plan to write my story, and I will share my story with my favorite publishers in the future. Whether it is ever released remains to be seen; you’ve seen the quality of writing that is published! They are incredible! For every book that’s published by my favorite publishers there are probably 10-20 books (if not more) that are not published. At the moment, I cannot give a real answer to that question because I’ve not even started writing it yet. You can’t publish something that’s not written. See, there was this thing this summer that took quite a bit of my “spare” time… All I can say is that I will write my story, and if it ever becomes a book, you will be among the first to know!
How much time did it take you to complete #DBC50Summer?
I wrote the first blog post on June 13 and the last book was completed on September 22, so 3 months and 9 days. A book took an average of 3-3 1/2 hours to read (some took less time and some much more) and reflect while reading by highlighting and writing notes in the margins. It would take, on average, between 2-3 hours to write each blog post. The creation of the Where are the PIRATES section of the new DBC, Inc website was a HUGE time saver because the websites were there and I could typically find podcasts and YouTube videos from there. So take 6 hours (average) times 50 books… 300 hours(ish). Working 40 hr work weeks, that would be 7.5 weeks. So over the 14 weeks, this has been similar to a part-time job working over 20 hours a week.
Did you get anything out of it? What’s in it for you?
Pick a variation of that question. It’s probably been the most frequent question I’ve been asked. If you’ve asked it, I adore you and know that I mean this with as much love as possible, but the question, or any variation of the question, is absolutely ridiculous. If you’re asking that question, you don’t “get it” anyway. I’ll just assume that your materialism is showing, so I’ll just answer to that end. I received a super-duper amazingly cool print from DBC, Inc that hangs in my office at work (see pictures below). My school also received a pretty amazing gift as I couldn’t turn down a gift for my teachers; I’m not going to cheat them out of an opportunity to grow and learn if they want it! Dave and Shelley sent a copy of every single book published by their company as a gift to our school! All of them, y’all! I was beyond blown away and literally cried happy tears when I opened the boxes. They are already being checked out and read, and it’s amazing to hear the conversations being had about each one. I received some pretty awesome swag from several of the authors after the posts of their book(s) was/were made. However, the things I value the most has been the encouragement, support, thoughtful notes (both digital and print, email and snail mail), time to connect via Google Hangout, and the friendships that have started. What’s in it for me has always been personal and professional growth in order to reach more teachers and students to enhance student learning. Period. Anything else has been icing on the cake.
So what’s the “big announcement?”
I am so excited to share the big announcement with you! All summer I have been adamant about continuing #DBC50Summer after book 50 and after summer is over. I’ve been trying to figure out what to call it because #DBC50Summer doesn’t fit anymore. The fun will continue with a new hashtag as I will be reading and sharing every DBC, Inc book that is released from now on, starting with the seven books that were released after the 50th was released in early June, 2018! I will also be sharing books from the IMpress line, which Dave discusses in this blog post and George shares here. The DBC, Inc books will continue to be shared in order of release, and the IMpress line will be shared in order of their release. To follow along with the excitement, be sure to add a column to your TweetDeck for (….drum roll….) #DBCBookBlogs!
I cannot wait to share the first book under the new hashtag – the 51st book in the DBC, Inc line is written by none other than THE Tara Martin – yeah, the #BookSnaps, #CannonballIn, #REALedu, #DBCSocialMediaGirl #ContagiouslyEnthusiastic Tara Martin! She wrote the book, Be REAL: Educate from the Heart, and it was released on June 18, 2018 (my oldest daughter’s birthday)! Her book was released just 5 days after I announced the beginning of #DBC50Summer and I nearly changed the name to #DBC51Summer because I was so excited for her (and us)! But now, her book is the first to be blogged & shared under #DBCBookBlogs! The post will be coming soon!
*If you have any further questions you’d like to have answered about #DBC50Summer, please put them in the comments, or DM me on Twitter! I’d love to chat with you about it!
*Edited to add answer to a terrific question asked via Twitter DM!
I want to follow along with your implementation plans. Are you going to share those throughout the year?
Yes! I plan to share the impacts of implementations as they come about throughout the year! There are some that I have already begun implementing and others that will come up much later in the year (I’ve got to pace myself, ha). It is currently my plan to blog about the projects & share pictures and any resources used, but I’m not sure if I will transition these blogs to #DBCBookBlogs or continue to use #DBC50Summer, or even use both. Either way, if you subscribe to the blog and/or follow me on Twitter, you’ll definitely be notified! I’m so excited to see how these books impact student learning, the culture, achievement, and enthusiasm in our school! It’s going to be an epic year!
#DBC50Summer Implementation Plans: This Google Sheet shares the books, in order of release date, my implementation plan, link to my blog post for each book, the link to the flipgrid for each book, and has a place holder for sharing the impact of implementing as I fulfill each plan throughout the school year. This Sheet will remain live, so check back throughout the year for updates! You are welcome to make a copy of this sheet to create your own implementations for each book. As Dave says, “Inspiration without implementation is a waste.” What will you do with the information you gain from each DBC, Inc book?
DBC Books Database: This rudimentary Sheet was my worksheet as I verified book release dates with authors, as well as connected on Twitter and searched for their websites. Much of this information is now readily available on the updated Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc website under Where are the PIRATES linked here. The asterisk beside the release date means it hasn’t been verified, while the V means it was verified by the author to me personally, the blog of the author announcing release date, or a tweet from Dave or Shelley Burgess announcing official release date. This is also a live site, and will be updated as verification becomes available and new books and information are released.
Flipgrid for All DBC, Inc Books: This global collaborative space was the brainchild of the amazing Andrea Paulakovich! I referenced each topic in each of the #DBC50Summer posts, but wanted to share the entire grid in one space for ease of access. If the embedded grid isn’t available below, click the hyperlink to access the grid.