It is just 5 days until the English Teacher Extraordinaire (also known as NCTE and ALAN) begins!
NCTE (The National Council of Teachers of English) Annual Convention is a time for all of us English, reading, and literacy teachers who are always looking to give our students the best instruction possible. NCTE is filled with instructional breakout sessions about anything you could wish for. For example, this year I have found a session about being a reading coach (my new job) and another about using iPads in the classroom (my school is a digital pilot school). There are even breakout sessions that are author strands, so you can get insight into books and writing processes of different authors. There are also keynote speakers, breakfasts, and lunches that can be attended to see even more amazing authors and educators. Finally, there is an exhibit hall filled with author signings, ARCs, and publishers–all amazing ways to learn about new books and to meet authors who you love (I’ve been so blessed to meet almost all of the authors on my “Author Bucket List”).
Following the 3.5 days of NCTE is the ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents) workshop. ALAN is all about authors and books and being an advocate for YA literature. During the workshop you get to hear authors share about their books and even get to meet them during a silent signing.
But what makes all of this the best experience is the people I am surrounded by. All of us where education and reading is a passion, our lives, and our being. I am so lucky that it came to Orlando one year, so I went. Now I cannot even imagine not going.
This year will be a bit different for me as I have a more active role than ever before. I am presenting twice during NCTE (one about using non-fiction picture books with secondary students and another about struggling readers) and then during ALAN I am so lucky to be chairing a panel. I am also attending as the new chair of the Walden Award committee, so there will be a lot of meeting and greeting. It is a bit different than in the past, but I am sure that I will still love every minute of it.
I cannot wait for this year’s!!