The Airport Reflection
New in my bag is:
A copy of Ralph Fletcher’s Breathing In, Breathing Out
A copy of Wilhelm, Smith and Appleman’s UnCommon Core
A copy of the videos for Best Practice by Zimmelman et al.
A copy each of The Clockwork Scarab and The Spiritglass Charade autographed by the author (Colleen Gleason) for my daughter.
New in my head:
Why was the Literacy for Democracy session at the end of the conference? It should have been at the start. It should have been first. It should have been in the main ballroom. It should be in the goddamn Common Core. Why is ‘college and career ready’ in the Common Core but not ‘ready to participate fully in democracy?’ Lets critically interrogate THAT! Penny Kittle, Carol Jago and Kelly Gallagher all came at it from their own points of view, but together made the point that critically interrogating the world around us is the chief skill of an educated, informed, activated populace (wait, maybe that’s why it isn’t in the Common Core?)
How do we propagate the message of equity in education better? Why am I suspending kids? Is there a better way? Can I figure it out? If I can, can I make it happen? Can I do that without going completely crazy?
How to we tell counter stories, counter narratives, to the prevailing narratives about education? I tweeted a headline today, from Passi Stahlberg, of all people, which read, “Why Is American Teaching So Bad.” I didn’t feel that the New York Review of Books was being helpful with that one, though the essay was somewhat less biased than the headline.
English teachers are cool, though based on our admitedly biased and limited observation, not great dancers.
Writing is fun. Especially with friends. Even friends you don’t know that well yet. Thanks to everyone who came and wrote with us in our session Saturday afternoon. I hope you take that energy and engagement to your students.
Speaking of engagement, why do we chuck the rules of good teaching out the window when we try to teach teachers? This should probably be a longer post, and it isn’t really pointed at NCTE or the conference, but is more a larger reflection. So much of our PD, which is TEACHING, painfully ignores the rules of TEACHING. We had a conversation last night, or more accurately I had a conversation and Bursiek nodded politely, about how we seem to think a different set of rules are in play when we teach adults. There are no other rules. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. That’s true if the average age of your audience is four or fourty-four. But man do we seem to let that go a lot.
Why doesn’t Bursiek tweet more? He’s really good at it. He is pithy, cynical and funny. The perfect skill set for twitter.
Doc Z needs to quit worrying about whether she’s doing okay. She is. End of story. Really. I’ve watched her teach. It’s frightening.
Why was this conference advertised at being in Washington? It wasn’t. I went to Washington during the conference, but that’s not where the conference was.
Okay, that light show hourly at the Gaylord was a bit much. Actually it was a lot much.
Did anyone go to “Ice?” How was it? What was it?
Cool ferris wheel though.
See ya next year NCTE. Try to behave.