Three and a half years ago I was lucky enough to attend a reading conference in Spokane, Washington where Regie Routman was the keynote speaker. She helped me become a better wife, mother and teacher with one phrase: "The best teachers live a life outside of school." She went on to explain that it is through that living we find our inspiration to teach. I am going to share this message with my students when we return to school on Monday and use it as a catalyst into our new reading, writing, math and science units. We'll launch each study with the same big question: How does what I am studying relate to the way I live outside of school?