I like to think I know about teaching. Then I go hang out with hundreds of brilliant educators and I realize how much I have to learn.
(I hope Helen and Megan see what I did there)
I just got home from the TCTELA Conference. The 30 minute ride north on I-45 allowed me a brief opportunity to reflect on this weekend and think about the experiences that I encountered and the people I had the pleasure of meeting.
Spending time in different sessions with different people from our District rejuvenated me. I enjoyed sitting with Adam Glasgow and taking in a presentation on curriculum development from two teachers from our district: Helen Becker and Megan Thompson. I loved hearing them speak the workshop language. It’s nice to take in a lunch with teachers from other schools in our district and really get to know them. There were also impromptu twitter education sessions and conversations about snacks.
Super Star Speakers:
Alfred Tatum is brilliant. His presentation was first thing in the morning on Friday and was a perfect start to the conference. His ideas about texts belonging to all students perfectly echo the words of Atwell, Kittle, and Gallagher. Here is a video of Dr. Tatum talking about self-selected reading.
Pernille Ripp is inspiring and passionate. She is one of the most ardent speakers I’ve ever heard and when she said, “Our fidelity should be to the students, not the programs. See the children and hear their voices,” I knew I had a new teacher-crush (Sorry Kelly Gallagher).
Donalyn Miller made me continue to think about my role in the classroom and as an advocate for literacy.
Chris Lehman closed out the conference this morning and his ideas about close reading should be standard practice for all of our reading teachers.
Looks like I’ll be spending money on more teacher books soon.
Diane Miller of U of H Downtown set up this panel of amazing educators. Unfortunately, our time slot worked against us and more people sat on the stage than in the crowd. In that aspect, it kind of reminded me of the JV soccer game the night before. That wasn’t really the point though. The point was that these educators shared their uplifting stories and shared some of their emotional baggage. It’s important to give a voice to those who are thinking and acting outside the box to help kids.
Call to Action:
Get involved. Connect with innovative people on social media!!! NCTE is in Houston this year. Meet up with us!!!! If you are a Texan, Join us at TCTELA next year in San Antonio!!!
Charles Moore’s students sometimes revolt when he tells them to quiet down and all they want to talk about is their writing. He can’t wait for the weather to warm up so that he can enjoy craw fish and his pool and maybe even devour craw fish while in the pool. You can find his frequent thought bursts and his passive aggressive treatment of trolls by checking out @ctcoach on twitter. His poorly executed instapoem collection can be seen @mooreliteracy1 on Instagram.