This year’s NCTE conference and ALAN Workshop were incredible. The sessions invigorated me, and I felt like I was constantly running on adrenaline. I was able to spend time with old friends and make new friends, as well—teachers, teacher educators, librarians, authors, and publishers.
Those of you who know me well know that I am a big ALAN fan. If I can’t afford NCTE and ALAN on any given year, I always go to the ALAN Workshop. If you aren’t an ALAN member, I highly recommend that you join. The assembly is like a family—the members are extremely accepting and their passion shines.
A few of the highlights this year include:
1. An awesome session I attended where the presenters dovetailed issues of disability and social justice. It really made me think!
2. The Meet the Editors session. I was there as a presenter (with The ALAN Review), but there were a few moments where I could pop over to other tables to get information from some of the other journals. I loved the way this session was set up.
3. Getting to dine with some of my favorite bibliophiles. And sharing hugs with others.
4. Working the exchange table at the ALAN Workshop. A few years ago, a president started this tradition. It allows people to exchange books they receive in their boxes. So, for example, a middle school teacher might exchange to receive more books geared to the age group s/he teaches. While this table was stressful at times, seeing the excitement on people’s faces when a book they wanted was available was priceless. A few teachers were able to make several sets of literature circle books by doing some clever trading.
5. Getting to see the presentation of the Walden Award at the ALAN Workshop. Kellee is going to be really humble, but she did a phenomenal job. ALL FIVE WINNING AUTHORS attended!
6. The ALAN Workshop panel about books that feature transgender teens. The speakers were incredible—two were high school students who are transgender and their moms. A fifth woman wrote a collection of stories, as well. All of the speakers (and the teens in particular) were incredibly articulate. The received a well-deserved standing ovation.
7. Meeting Trent! We were able to get our two baby readers together. They had a lot of fun in the Exhibit Hall. See Monday’s post for a picture. 🙂
8. All of the books! I can’t wait to get started on all of the amazing ARCS and new texts that I received this year. I shipped my books home, and I was delighted to see a gigantic box waiting on my doorstep when I arrived. So on that note, I am going to cut this post short. I have books to attend to! 🙂