We're blogging this weekend from NCTE in Nashville, TN at Opryland. The hotel and conference complex is an over-the-top tropical theme park sort of experience, but we'll try not to let that get in the way of the important work of the conference -- learning from/sharing with others how we can become better teachers.
Last night at the Elementary Section Get-Together, Shelley Harwayne received the Outstanding Educator in Language Arts Award. Her speech was thought-provoking and inspiring. She talked about four things we need to reclaim in our teaching:
1. More playfulness and less formality. Teaching is an ART, not an industry; we need predictability, not precision; and we need to follow students, not scripts.
2. Follow students' leads. We need to adjust our teaching to fit the child's needs.
3. Treat children as children.
4. Remember we have an artful profession. We need to use improvisation, not indoctrinization.