This week the July 2012 NCTE Council Chronicle with the annual convention preview arrived in my mailbox. As I was skimming through, there were plenty of reasons to know that it will be worth every penny. I loved this line from Sandy Hayes' welcome, "In reading through the mountain of session proposals, I realized that NCTE members share a kind of double vision with Bradbury's time traveler: we have the capacity to see things not only as they are but also as they could be. We aspire to change our world by embracing complexity, considering research, collaborating, working hard, and stretching toward an ideal" (p. 4). Right off the bat with the Preconvention Sessions the tough decisions will begin. All four sessions look amazing, but I will most likely either go to see Teaching: The Questions We Ask and the Answers We Find with Jim Burke, Penny Kittle, and Kelly Gallagher or Building Reading Communities Online and Off with Donalyn Miller, Sara Kajder, Teri Lesesne, and Franki Sibberson. See why it will be so hard to decide!
As if the regular components of the convention weren't enough for building anticipation, I decided that it would be worth it to stay the two extra days for the ALAN postconvention workshop. I have heard about all of the authors present and the box of books that comes along with it from one of my university professors. Originally I held back because of the additional expenses, but this week I decided that since this may be the only time I financially prioritize in order to go to the annual convention, I might as well get the full experience. Of course, as soon as I purchased it, I noticed the CEL Writing as Leadership postconvention with Penny Kittle, Tom Romano, Peg Tyre, Casey Olsen, Kelly Gallagher, and Harvey "Smokey" Daniels. So tempting, but alas, I can't attend both and have already signed up for ALAN. Like the Boothbay Literacy Retreat, this convention will be one of those dream PD opportunities.
When I was still buzzing with excitement over adding on the ALAN postconvention, I happened to stop by the Heinemann site again. Either this was just posted or I completely missed it last time, but an upcoming release for Penny Kittle is listed, Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers. And yes, just like Notice and Note, I automatically pre-ordered it and can't wait for its anticipated November release. Just seeing Penny Kittle's name on it is enough to prompt that though, but I am really excited for the topic as well. It aligns well with my dissertation research and my intended continual focus on engaging and sustaining adolescent readers.
In the midst of the school year, November will be something to look forward to. Two weeks from today I officially start the school year with teacher work days, but between now and then I will meet with K-5 colleagues to discuss how the first year of reading and writing workshop went as well as thoughts for the upcoming year. Then I will also get together with some colleagues for our August for fun book club. Once the school year gets started, the months will be moving in fast forward.
November will be a nice month. The convention will fall a few weeks into the second quarter. The whirl of events that come with parent teacher conferences and the first quarter report cards will be complete. I will head out mid-week and when I return we will be on Thanksgiving break. A nice chance to let ideas from the conference settle and to savor time with family after being away. Both the convention and the quick break immediately after will be a chance to recharge and savor what has happened so far in the year and glimpse ahead to the possibilities for the remainder of the year.
Who else is planning on going to NCTE?
What upcoming professional books are you looking forward to their releases?