This past Wednesday, I went out with 8 other women, all but one are teachers , to an Italian restaurant to enjoy some great food and discuss the book we are reading together in our online book group .  It was an amazing time!  We dined, wined, smiled, laughed and dined some more… and then smiled even more!  From the first moments of ripping off a piece of warm bread to the last lick of a cheese cake covered spoon, our evening was full of enjoyable collegiality.

And that’s the point!

This summer, one of my main focuses for my educational career was to read for pure enjoyment – just like we expect our children to do.  Together with my sister-in-law, Kristina Peterson, I organized an online book club to read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  (our wiki)  It has been so enjoyable not only to read, but to interact with other teachers in online discussions about the book and our lives, and to meet face to face.  (photos)

I mentioned already our fabulous Italian dinner meant to celebrate Gilbert’s trip to Italy.  Besides eating (too much), we also did a little soul searching as we pondered, wrote down and reflected on the three things we wanted most out of life.

At the end of the month, we will be getting together to explore meditative yoga and to enjoy lunch and more discussion.  Of course, we are also going to the movie in mid-August together as well.  I am so looking forward to meeting again and again with this group of women as much as I look forward to the emails from wikispaces informing me that a new post has been made on our discussions.

Inevitably what we read, discuss and experience affects our teaching because it affects our lives.  That’s important to remember as we work and play through the summer months.  PLCs, PLNs, study groups, book groups, whatever your flavor, getting together with and enjoying the company of other teachers, whether you meet them in person or not, is an important part of being an inspired teacher.

How do you cater to your need for collegiality?