Now that I've had some time to think about my experience, I can sum up my thoughts in two words. Connecting. Reflecting. But of course, I'll elaborate...
For me, the most powerful parts of the convention came in the way of connecting. Connecting with Twitter friends that I'd never met before. Connecting with Ohio friends and making plans for the Dublin Literacy Conference. Connecting with literacy leaders whose books have transformed my teaching and thinking. Connecting with new picture books and new professional reads. Connecting with sessions that affirmed my beliefs, as well as sessions that expanded my thinking. Sitting down at a table and connecting with Ken Goodman (the "father" of the whole language movement.)
Reflecting has become so much a part of me lately. NCTE 11 provided another time for listening, learning, and reflecting. Reflecting on how inspiring it was to have people recognize me because of Twitter. Reflecting on how fortunate I am to have connected with Joan and Gail. Reflecting on how I must, MUST continue to fight the good fight in the name of what is right and what is best for my students. Reflecting on Ellin Keene's thoughts on how it's always the best teachers who are in the most trouble. Reflecting on what the sessions I attended had taught me and what they had affirmed for me. Reflecting on how this experience would change me.
|My NCTE "connections" wordle! :)|
I sincerely apologize if I left anyone off of this! I wrote down everyone I could remember meeting and hope I didn't accidentally leave someone out!
Here are a few of the quotes from the convention that moved me.
"Scientifically proven instruction translates into prescriptive programs in which teachers have no decision-making power." Whole Language Umbrella session
"So much of what we're hearing now are just new words for old ideas that didn't work!" Whole Language Umbrella session
"There's power in teaching with real books." Kathy Short
"Schools have become so frantic. It is hard to 'be there.' Slow reading means having a sustained, attentive relationship with text. Pay attention." Thomas Newkirk
"Term 'research-based' has become de-based." Thomas Newkirk
"Nothing is more helpful than thinking aloud for kids." Ellin Keene
"Inspirational teaching in this time of core standards is vital." Anne Ruggles Gerr
"We need to make things simple so kids can do big things." Ann Marie Corgill
"We have to acknowledge who kids are as readers and help them grow." Cathy Mere
"Our students deserve same depth, variety, and richness that we want for our own reading lives." Stephanie Parsons
"A 'just right book' is so much more than being a 'level M.'" Stephanie Parsons
"Fluency is all about how to read a piece beautifully." Kathy Collins
"Reading and writing float on a sea of talk." James Britton
I left the convention feeling exhausted and exhilarated. Being surrounded by so many people who share my passion and beliefs on teaching, learning, and books was astounding. I can hardly wait to do it again!