The World According to Betty Birney

One thing our school does really well is support readers and writers.  One way that happens is by inviting “real” authors to come and share their journeys with us.  They share their love of words and we are inspired to do the same. 🙂 (Remember when Lisa Campbell Ernst came a couple of years ago,  or Mary Casanova last year?? Amazing, I tell you. 🙂 ).

Well, last Friday we were treated with a last-minute visit from Betty Birney, courtesy of a fabulous indie bookstore near us called The Novel Neighbor.  Once we found out that she was coming, I had to find out if I could make a connection.  So of course I checked her out on Twitter.  And yes, I found her!

Screenshot 2015-10-12 21.27.58I love that there is a way to “meet” people before you meet them, connect in meaningful ways and help kids see what “real” authors do.  And yes, I only say “real” like that because kids do.  All of my students are authors, but to them you’re not a “real” one unless you’ve actually published a book.  You know, it’s how you think when you’re a kid.  Well, ok, I’ll be honest….some adults think that way, too.  But nope, I’ll teach you–if you write, you’re a writer.  If you write things, you’re an author.  There.  Now you know. 🙂

Anyhow, Betty showed up and gave us a FABULOUS presentation of her journey as a writer, showed us some great pictures (like of her writing house where she works–I mean, what??  A little blue house in the backyard for your office?  I’m a little jealous.  That sounds like a dream. 🙂 ), and told us some incredible stories.  Like how her first writing job was for hot dog advertisements (or hot dog buns or something like that, but food….), and how she worked for Disney.  Um, yeah, you heard me–Disney (you’ve heard how I am kind of obsessed with it, right??) .  Like she wrote promotional posters for the opening of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and got to spend a whole day just riding the roller coaster over and over and over.  She wrote for a little TV show you may have heard of called Winnie the Pooh (wrote lots of books of Pooh, too!), and got has written loads of other things, too.

I don’t have a picture of it, but one of my favorite things of this author visit was that all of my writers brought their Writers’ Notebooks with them so they could capture anything inspiring and brilliant that Betty said.  And because “real” writers take their notebooks with them everywhere!

Oh, and did you see in those tweets that we planned for pictures?  Of course, because that’s what bloggers do!


First me. And yeah, I know–I look crazy excited. Guess because I was. Kind of like I was with a celebrity. I wouldn’t mind having her job. 🙂

And then it was everyone’s turn:


I know you can’t hear them, but when we were taking the picture, we were saying, “We love Betty Birney!”  What a great morning. 🙂

4 thoughts on “The World According to Betty Birney

    • It is great, isn’t it? I think my teaching and my students’ learning has really changed in a positive way since I’ve been more connected to social media. We can share our learning with others as well as learn about what others are doing–definitely a win-win situation!

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