I have been writing “5 Things I Loved About Last Week” posts this fall, and I have found them to be very helpful to my state of mind. Last weekend at NCTE I found out that there is this awesome community that writes similar posts and links them up over at Ruth Ayer’s blog. How cool is that? I’m all about being a part of communities, so I am going to move my thankful posts from Sunday to Saturday so that I can join in on the fun.
Here are five things I loved about last week (NCTE edition)
1. Meeting Someone New
Each year I travel to NCTE to learn from experts and to spend time with some of my best friends. I have found that it is the time spent with friends between sessions, during a run, or in a taxi-that often lead to some of the best learning of the conference.
This year I met Ruth Ayers at the airport. We kept running into each other throughout the conference. I learned right off the bat that Ms. Ayers is someone that you want to be friends with. She is kind, thoughtful, and she pushes you to think deeply.
I’m thankful that I met Ruth at NCTE.
2. Jenni and Kirby
Jenni Holm and Holm and Kirby Larson are two of my favorite people in the whole entire universe. I met them both at NCTE 2011 in Chicago, and I now consider them to be amazing friends. Getting a chance to spend time with them at NCTE was such a joy.
3. Nerdy Book Club
At NCTE 2011 Nerdy Book Club didn’t exist. At NCTE 2012 we did a Nerdy Book Club session. At NCTE 2013 it felt like Nerdy Book Club had a presence. It was hard to go to a session or walk through the hotel lobby without seeing someone that had Nerdy Book Club ties. I cannot wait to see what Nerdy Book Club has in store for NCTE 2014.
Getting a chance to chat with Donalyn, Cindy, and Katherine (I always think of her as part of the people that help run Nerdy) filled my heart with such joy. They make me a better teacher daily.
I presented twice at NCTE. Once as a part of the Nerdy session, and once with some pretty important people in a room big enough that it made me feel like throwing up. Both presentations went pretty good, and I learned a lot about myself as a presenter. I’m thankful that I was able to see what I did right, while at the same time being able to identify how I can get better.
I was proud of how I did in both sessions.
5. Year of the U
I got an opportunity to chat with both Linda Urban and Anne Ursu at NCTE. There is not secret that they I feel they have written two of the best 2013 middle grade novels. There is no secret that I feel that they are both deserving of recognition from the Newbery committee.
The best part of getting a chance to chat with them was it helped me remember that there are more important things in this world than the Newbery medal. The impact that their books have on young readers isn’t something that you can give a sticker to.
I’m hoping that if you are reading this post, that you have a lot to celebrate this week as well!