NCTE 2014 Recap

Audience at B.24
Audience at B.24. Photo by Lisa Iaccarino

NCTE is over. My brain is full. I have a few major takeaways:

  1. My students are not given nearly enough opportunities for independent reading. As in none, really. I am not going to go so far as to flagellate myself for malpractice, but I definitely need to bring in opportunities for students to select what they read. There is a good balance I can strike with required reading and self-selected reading.
  2. My classroom library needs an overhaul. I have two bookshelves (inherited) in my classroom. One is broken. The other is leaning precariously against classroom heating system. Both of them need to go. I want my students to be able to peruse the shelves. Seeing a picture of Penny Kittle’s classroom library gave me serious shelf envy. My husband and I talked about it, and he would be thrilled if I would get some of our books out of the house and into my classroom. I really just need to get some shelves and fill them.
  3. I missed YA fiction. I haven’t read any in a while, and one aspect of NCTE that I have always enjoyed is the access to titles and conversations about YA literature. I had Eleanor & Park on my Kindle, and I hadn’t read it yet. I started reading it last night, and I didn’t stop until I was done. I found John Green’s quote particularly compelling: “Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.” You know what book I keep thinking about now that I’ve finished Eleanor & Park? Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes. I fell in love with that book hard. I wore out my copy. I still remember the cover.

Tiger EyesMore soon. Still decompressing.

4 thoughts on “NCTE 2014 Recap”

  1. One of the dangers of hanging out w/ the rock stars in our profession is the temptation to compare ourselves to them and to see them as perfect teachers rather than as teachers working toward excellence, which you do every day. Having added additional time to independent reading, I can say that doing so doesn't make things perfect in the classroom. My students have gained much from the change, and we are all happier; however, there is a trade-off that concerns me. Right now, it's a choice I'm willing to make.

    Always good to see you, and I'm really glad we had a chance to spend time together at the Folger.

  2. Dana, I had a similar takeaway about independent reading, which I do zero of right now with my 9th graders–working on ideas for the spring and for the future, as well as my own NCTE wrap-up post this weekend!

Comments are closed.