NCTE15: A Necessity

I’m coming off the high of NCTE15.

Before making the commitment to attend this year, I questioned whether I deserved to go. Was this an indulgence? Was I worthy of this trip?

But today, I know this conference is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.  It’s not just professional development. It’s professional sustenance.

I learned in sessions led by teachers who enter the classroom every day, just like me and do extraordinary things to teach learners the value and importance of the written word. Teachers like Pernille Ripp, who reach out to authors and enrich the lives of students around the world with the Global Read Aloud.

I learned in sessions led by writers of the books I bring to my students. Writers like Katherine Applegate, Cynthia Lord, Sharon Draper, Linda Urban, Georgia Heard, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Writers who humbly share their process, their strategies, their struggles and their hearts for the benefit of teachers and students.

I learned in sessions led by educational leaders and researchers. Those who have provided me intellectual and professional support; whose words I’ve underlined and try to live in my classroom. The likes of Tom Newkirk, Ellin Keene, and Lucy Calkins shared their research and best practices.

I sat with and talked to educators whom I am privileged to call my dear friends. Social media and conferences like NCTE have made these connections possible. We come together for these events that build our relationships and our practice.

Now home, these teachers, wordsmiths, and researchers are beside me, Supporting my students and me. As we read, as we open our writer’s notebooks, as we try on strategies, we engage with this community of literacy.

Teaching children to become thought filled decision makers is a challenge and an honor. The annual NCTE convention supports the passionate community of educator-learners who choose this vocation. It brings together the best in the work to inspire more.

Thank you, Erica.




8 thoughts on “NCTE15: A Necessity

  1. My post is waiting to be published. I like yours better. I love the take away you have about the necessity of PD. If all teachers could feel the value and empowerment that we feel at NCTE, this world would be unstoppable. I cannot tell you how special it was to spend real valuable time with you. I am beside you. You are beside me. I love you.

    • You are so right! If all teachers could feel that power – what we could accomplish. It was a gift to be with you . I am blessed by your friendship. Love you my dear friend.

  2. I really felt the loss of not being able to be at NCTE this year, but the Tweets and your post are a lovely balm. We are all stronger because of each other. Thanks for always putting into words what’s in our hearts, my friend.

  3. I so agree even though my energy and passion was more focused on the NWP annual conference happening at the same time just next door at the Hilton. It was a wonderful meet up with passionate teachers trying to stay strong. Sorry we didn’t meet up. We needed someone to organize us for a breakfast. NEXT YEAR IN ATLANTA!!!!

  4. This conference sounds like a great form of self-care and community building for teachers. I’m glad you went because you (and all our wonderful teachers at PW) are SO worthy of it! BTW, I’m loving your blog. =)

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