Ready or Not, #NCTE17, Here We Come

Sometimes November is too much fun.

I keep telling myself that as I plan for my six children, two new son-in-laws, and five little grandkiddos to come home for Thanksgiving — not two or three days after I get a good night’s sleep and recover from the extraordinary time I expect to have at NCTE this week — but one, less than 24 hours!

Oh, I am excited. No question about that. There is nothing like family for the holidays, especially my big and boisterous one. But the getting ready? Just a little crazy.

I already know my refrigerator is not big enough, and I don’t have enough beds. (How can I put my daughters’ new husbands on the floor? Would their mothers put my daughters on the floor?) I’ve been on a mad hunt, shopping on Facebook Marketplace, for enough beds. Thank God I live in a huge metroplex with lots of people selling lots of stuff.

I won’t even mention how my sweet husband decided we needed new carpet, which if you’ve ever done that deal in a small home packed with 32 years of “Oh, I might need that” you know what an exhausting move-and-shove-and-throw-that-out time that is.

So, all that to say this:  Who is ready for NCTE?

My heart is, but my head is not. Neither are my presentations. (Did you notice that s? I did it to myself: I’ve got THREE. NCTE with this 3TT writing team, a 5 minute Ignite spiel, and my first ever CEL.) Shana’s promised to remind me how I feel right now when proposals come due for 2018. Frantic does not quite cover it. Can I take another day off? I just took off Friday. Instead of putting slides together, I bought a trundle bed.

If you will be in St. Louis, I hope you will find me. Flag me down. Wave across the room. Introduce yourself. Come to one of my sessions and say, “Hi!” Shake my hand or give me a hug. I could use a hug or two or twelve.

Reclaiming Narrative and Amplifying Our Voices_ Using Story to Invite Fearless Inquiry and Intellectual Challenge for Our Students and Ourselves

NCTE is my favorite conference. It fuels me for the whole year. I cannot wait to get there.

I remember the first session I attended at NCTE last year — a Thursday workshop tribute to Thomas Newkirk. So many of the teacher leaders I admire spoke on how Tom’s work has influenced and strengthened their’s: Tom Romano, Jeff Wilhelm, Penny Kittle and so many others.

Tom’s been a blessing to my work, too. I am a better teacher and a better person because I know Tom Newkirk. Penny Kittle told me once, “Tom is the smartest person I know.” I have to agree. He is so wise. He is kind, too.

Tom Newkirk is our session chair!

Writing that out still gives me a thrill. (I refuse to call it pressure. Tom Newkirk will be listening to us talk about narrative. HE IS AN EXPERT ON NARRATIVE! He wrote a book about narrative! Okay, maybe a little pressure.)

So, all this to say:  Who is ready for NCTE?

I will be.


Are you ready? What are you most excited about at NCTE? Please share in the comments.

Amy Rasmussen is not usually a procrastinator. She keeps lists so she can mark things off lists. Someday soon she will get her act together — certainly before 12:30 on Friday. Amy teaches AP Lang and English IV at a large senior high in north TX. Follow her @amyrass and @3TeachersTalk.


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8 thoughts on “Ready or Not, #NCTE17, Here We Come

  1. […] think that after a week-long break I’d have caught up. Not so. Remember how I wrote about my family coming for Thanksgiving? They did. We laughed and ate and camped and […]


  2. Shana Karnes November 14, 2017 at 1:07 am Reply

    I will remind you how you feel now…but when I talk to you in a week and you are exhilarated and full of joy and inspiration, I will remind you of that feeling, too! And I’ll hope we can co-present at CEL next year!! ❤️❤️❤️


  3. Stacey November 13, 2017 at 9:54 am Reply

    Have a wonderful time! Please know that this blog is a lifeline for me. The words here inspire me. The timing of your posts are impeccable, for the wisdom I find here is often read before I step out of bed in the morning. Once my feet hit the ground, I’m off and running with inspiration culled from the collective voice that is TTT.


    • Amy Rasmussen November 13, 2017 at 10:22 pm Reply

      Oh, Stacey, thank you for this kind comment! Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for being the kind of teacher who reads blogs like this. Your students are blessed to have you!


  4. mrsturnerblog November 13, 2017 at 8:32 am Reply

    I’m excited to hear about your adventures! Enjoy every minute!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa Dennis November 13, 2017 at 7:42 am Reply

    Woot! I can’t wait to hug you and freak out with you and fangirl with you and take notes in various colors with you. NCTE17 here we come!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. rlkurstedt November 13, 2017 at 7:07 am Reply

    Amy, I’ll be at NCTE too. Presenting on Sunday with some teachers I work with on the teacher/coach relationship. Would love to meet you as I’ve been following this blog and your writing for quite some time and have wanted for a long time to give you a hug and thank you for all the work that you do. Rosanne


    • Amy Rasmussen November 13, 2017 at 10:25 pm Reply

      Rosanne!! I need to meet you! Yes, I will try to make your session. I have barely even looked at the program schedule yet… it is so overwhelming! My cell # is 469/879-9614 if you want to meet up for coffee or something, send me a message.


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