I woke up this morning in Key West after yesterday’s Miami sunrise. I promise I’ll stop thinking about the conference at some point and enjoy this get-away. First, I want to share just a little of my experience from NCTE.
Thank goodness NCTE brought their annual convention to Houston this year. I cannot overstate the importance of the shared experience that comes with conference attendance. Sitting next to colleagues as you soak in the collective wisdom of our field’s leaders, turning and talking with a complete stranger, meeting people you’ve only known through social media, we need these experiences.
We may not come away from events like these with a new-found awakening of what teaching means to us. It’s not, to me, the profundity of the experience that excites. Instead, it’s the almost guaranteed replenishment of confidence and strength that I need, every so often, to redouble my efforts in the fight for literacy.
Conferences give me courage.
I’ll take time to reflect on the teachers who stood in long lines to meet Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Elizabeth Acevedo and shared their adoration. The reading and writing call-to-arms delivered by Pernille Ripp, Donalynn Miller, and Penny Kittle will, for a long time, echo, in my mind. Dr. Christopher Emdin’s charge to change my world-view knocked me down in the moment, and then picked me up again.
In the mean time, I’m going to rev up my step count as I recharge in sunny Key West. I hope you find a way to recharge too.
Charles Moore can’t wait to write a professional learning proposal titled: Your Worksheet is Ruining Our Workshop. Maybe the warm temperatures down here at the southernmost point in the U.S. will heat up his teacher angst. Maybe not.