We live in troubled times.
I am troubled.
I came to NCTE troubled. I’m guessing you did too. NCTE did not solve the worlds problems. Nor should it. It did, however, ease my sense of trouble some. Not because there is no trouble. But because I leave knowing I am not alone in feeling troubled, and in knowing that you may be troubled by some of the same things.
There is no burden so great that talking about cannot ease it some. There is no burden so great it cannot be shared. There is no burden so great that working together we cannot move towards solution.
The Papergraders are headed out for Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my colleagues, Sarah, Paul, Tracy, and Claire, for sharing this conference, for being my colleagues and friends. I’m thankful for you too. I’m hoping Claire will join in on this strange blogging journey we have been on for the last few years.
Thanks for coming to our sessions and sharing your struggles. It lightened my load to share your troubles. I hope it lightened yours to share them too. We are not alone. You are not alone. Our work is hard. Harder than it looks. HArder than even those who are close to us know. One of the benefits of NCTE is being with the people who know how hard this job is.
Ta-Nehisi Coates told us last night that we have to see things for what they are. So if you’re feeling troubled, well, I am too. And I think we are right to feel that way. We have to see what is, and what I see is troubling. I’m still working on what to do. I know you are too.
One thing we can do is go back to our classrooms and let our students know it’s okay to share their troubles. Let them know that they are not alone in these troubling times. Then together maybe we can move towards solution. Together.