Friday, November 16, 2012

Lessons from NCTE 2012

Day two of the conference is just about over. Sitting in my last session today I thought of many things:

·      How grateful I am to my district for letting me come.
·      How blessed I am to have a husband who willingly pays what they don’t.
·      How much I learn and soak in during these brief days.
·      What an amazing group of teachers I know.

And here’s the thing. I faced a lot of fears to get here. I abhor flying. Anxiety that is almost paralyzing occurs when I’m on a plane. I do think it has something to do with my control issues. Placing all of my trust in others is scary. That being said, I did it.

Today was my first presentation. I’ve presented in my own district before but this was different. Shortly before our session we realized our room would be outside of the main building and quite a trek. As I walked over I began to wonder if anyone would walk that far to hear us. And then the doors opened. People began trickling in. I quickly busied myself with helping Kellee set up the technology, then I didn’t have to look up. J When I finally did, I saw this:

Oh my goodness. My heart was pounding. But you know what? I think it went well. I was super nervous when it was my time to talk but quickly saw familiar faces, friends I’ve met through Twitter. They nodded, smiled at me, encouraged me on. Thank you all – you have no idea how much that meant.

And, as always with these types of conferences, there are not enough minutes in the day. I ran from meetings, to sessions, to presentations, to the exhibit hall and more meetings, to more sessions. And no matter how much I hurried, I couldn’t see it all, and that’s ok.

What I’ve come away with on day two is how amazing teaching is. Sir Ken Robinson started us off this morning with inspiring words. And teacher and authors kept me thinking all day long. Finishing up this day with writing advice from Jeff Anderson and Mark Overmeyer was fuel to the fire. I started this blog almost a year ago after NCTE 2011 made me want to write. This conference has continued to add to that passion. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store. 


  1. What a great day and awesome memories! Can't wait to hear about your presentation and your learning from NCTE! Were you throwing out Tootsie Rolls today?!? That's quite a pile.

  2. I love that you faced your fears to be there. It sounds like you are having a great time! I definitely need to go next year...have a great rest of the weekend.

  3. Can't wait to hear more. Congrats on facing your fears & doing! Congrats on your presentation. WooHoo, Katherine. I am determined to be there next year.

  4. Sounds like you are having a blast!! I can't wait to hear more when you get back! Enjoy every minute while you are there!!

  5. Just read (and shared) your Nerdy post. I wish I was able to go to the NCTE conference...maybe next year. Just curious about what you presented.

  6. Good for you for getting on the plane! I have the same worries/fears. I started taking Ativan when I fly and it has helped. I just got home from NCTE. What a wonderful experience (my first time). Looks like you had a great turn out :) Excellent!

    I am re-energized by all the amazing talent, thinking and energy people have! It was just what I needed.

  7. Thanks, Michelle. We gave them Tootsie Rolls at the start of the session with no choice. There were other candy options they were allowed to pick from at the end. Used to represent choice in reading. :)

  8. Thanks, Andrea! Please go to Boston, I'd love to meet you.

  9. :) We need to have lunch and catch up.

  10. Thanks Gigi! I presented on a panel with a variety of teachers and an author about how we attempt to reach struggling readers. My other presentation was with members of the Nerdy Book Club on how we form our reading communities and how that benefits our students.

  11. Thanks Terri! Good tip - might need something next time. :)

  12. Katherine,
    It was an amazing conference. It was so hard to see everything and chat with everyone. There were so many thoughtful sessions. So many great speakers. So many interesting topics. Every time slot was filled with 3-5 choices I wanted to see. I'm thankful for Twitter and blogs that helped to amplify the conference. These networks helped me to hear the thinking in sessions I was unable to attend. I'm still taking it all in, but it was definitely worth it.



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