For the past four years, I have attended the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) conference, which always takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving. This gathering of teachers from all over the country is always such an inspiring time of learning for me. It is also a very special reunion weekend when I get to see old friends as well as meet and make new friends.
I am always left after these 3 days feeling super saturated with renewed vision for my teaching, new ideas for my students, and a suitcase full of books – many signed by the authors and/or illustrators themselves.This year I am feeling especially grateful for the friendships I have with fellow educators with whom I connected this weekend. They affirmed me, challenged me, and encouraged me as I return to continue the work and all I want to accomplish with my 20 young learners. My teacher soul is rejuvenated and excited to explore new ways to engage my students through reading and writing.
My new friend from Texas, Amy Bettis, a fellow kinder teacher comrade and I hope to find ways to connect our classrooms and have students share their learning with each other. Technology opens doors and crosses vast distances that otherwise would keep us from such opportunities, and we are excited to explore new possibilities with our students.
My NCTE weekend is again behind me, but I hold tight to wonderful memories, inspirational learning, and new friendships I took away. Facing the months before me, I have a reservoir of vision for my teaching and a belief in my students for what will certainly be a journey filled with joyful learning amidst much exciting discoveries together.