My term on the Executive Committee ended and that's a little sad, but I am so thankful to have worked with such an amazing group of people. It was an incredible experience--I learned a lot and made some great friends. The mission of NCTE is one that is important to me and I loved my years on the EC. I am in awe of the leaders of NCTE and feel honored to have worked with them.
The Elementary Section Get-Together Kick-Off was great. It is always so fun to see everyone and to kick off the convention together. Jarrett Krosoczka was incredible as always. The room was packed and within minutes I noticed my friends tweeting away!
First Wave was an amazing Opening Session on Friday morning. If you did not see the group, I don't know how to describe it. It was the energy and the message we needed. Ernest Morrell (@ernestmorrell) was this year's convention chair and he put together an amazing weekend, with First Wave being a wonderful surprise for me, as I'd not heard of them before this.
I met Peter Brown. I actually got to have lunch with Peter Brown at the Books for Children Luncheon. Not that I'm trying to make my friend, Deb Frazier jealous or anything. (Even though this picture of me is hideous, it was worth sending out to Deb:-) Meeting Peter Brown was on my list of important things to do at convention, as I am a huge fan. If you have never attended the Books for Children's Lunch, it is a highlight of the conference for me. A great place for author fans as there is an author at each table and you get to sit with one the whole time! A real NCTE convention perk for author stalkers:-)
Speaking of the Books for Children Luncheon, Ann Marie Corgill and I were assigned to check in the authors. Welcoming and meeting all of the authors we love was quite fun. So many amazing authors in one room!
Friday night, I attended the Choice Literacy dinner. I am reminded every time I am with Brenda Power and the Choice Literacy group how lucky I am to be part of this community. Another hideous picture but one that really summarizes the weekend of friends, learning and laughter.
I went to some great sessions that really helped me learn lots. I started Friday off at Kidwatching in the Digital Age which was incredible. I tend to avoid roundtables but this session changed my mind. I started at a table with Katie Keier and learned so much in 10 minutes. Every 10 minute rotation gave me more to think about! So many smart presenters, sharing so much about learning from their students. So much energy in one packed room!
I was thrilled to get a seat in the Close Reading session by Chris Lehman, Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts. They are so smart about all that they say about children and reading. It was definitely a highlight and I am looking forward to rereading Falling in Love with Close Reading now.
I loved getting a chance to go to an Ignite session with some amazing speakers. Like the roundtable, I loved the energy and all of the thinking I did. And how can I not celebrate Penny Kittle, whose Ignite reminded us of the power of classroom libraries. She is so passionate about this that she has started The Book Love Foundation. Such important work.
There is nothing like traveling with friends. I am reminded of that over and over again. Whether we are in a car for hours driving to #nerdcamp or in the airport for hours waiting for a plane, some of my best pd happens traveling with friends.
More than anything, NCTE is so much about learning from and thinking with each other. I happened to luck out and be sitting next to Patrick Allen and Sara Kajder met. I love when 2 of who have learned from each other meet in person.