Thursday, December 3, 2009
Eleven days ago, I returned from Philly. After hosting 22 people at my house for Thanksgiving, completing progress reports, and dealing with a raging sinus infection, my head is still spinning, but my hopes and dreams for my students are so vibrant, so clear, I can taste them. While I was there, I experienced the best professional development I have ever been a part of in my 23 years in education...I attended the NCTE conference for the first time.
One of the most rewarding parts for me at the conference was the opportunity to network with other colleagues, teachers, authors, professional writers, and poets from around the United States and beyond. My friend, Shelly, and I chose to go to this particular conference way back in May after talking to colleagues who have been attending for years. The travel time allowed for us to have an opportunity to discuss best literacy practices for our "treasures" at school. When we arrived, we immediately broadened our circle and sought out several other teachers from our district. As the conference proceeded, our circle widened once again. We went to sessions that were being presented by two colleagues from our district. After the energizing session, our network grew once again. We met authors and bloggers that we love and respect so much that we consider them dear friends (see photos). Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, our circle grew once more. We met and talked to Ralph Fletcher, Julie Andrews (Yes, my favorite movie star of all time from the Sound of Music), Lester Laminack, The Sisters, Katie Wood-Ray, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Georgia Heard and John Selznick just to name a few. I was part of "The Literacy Club." This conference celebrated literacy and learning by inviting the best in the field. It allowed me to confirm, refine, and stretch my thinking and learning with others in a unique way that I will forever treasure. The conference is in Orlando in 2010...Is it too early to pack my bags now?