“I write to know what I am thinking.” Someone said this. Someone wise. I can’t remember who because there are days and people and ideas between hearing these words and today. But this is exactly what I am doing. Trying to process my thinking from NCTE15 through writing.
My trip home from Minneapolis was long. My brain is full to overflowing with words, ideas, love, and hope. At NCTE, teachers are honored. Teachers are fed. Teachers are inspired.
At NCTE15, I discovered…
Teachers are rock stars to authors. The work we do in the classroom around books is why authors do the work they do. They love hearing the stories of what we are doing with their babies (books).
Allow students to explore what they are passionate about. Real authors like Kate Messner, Laura Purdie Salas, Laurel Snyder, and more are driven by their endless curiosity. We need to allow wondering and wandering to ignite passionate research for our students.
Kate DiCamillo says to give young writers the gift to be themselves. “Break the rules and find yourself.”
Sharon Draper says, “Words are Power!” We need love–connections–peace, and books are how we do that.
The books authors write are their babies, and when you love their babies, you love them. I watched author after author brighten up when I talked to them about how their books affected me and my students.
“Literature can empower young people. Books are like amusement parks. Sometimes you have to let the kids choose the ride.” Kwame Alexander.
Schools should be scavenger hunts, places where students can feel safe to wonder, wander, and discover. Georgia Heard, Wonderopolis breakfast
When I look through my notes, I notice that most of what I heard affirmed my teaching philosophy: Open the door. Be safe. Be curious. Expand the horizon. Reach for the stars.