Slice of Life Tuesday: What we get to keep

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers

ncte-notebook

NCTE 2016 is now officially a thing of the past; no longer do I think or speak of it with the anticipation of its arrival (full of excitement and hope), or the in-the-moment experience of its taking place (full of joy and wonder).  I refer to it now in the past tense: I went, I heard, I saw….

…and there is such a sadness in that.

This once a year gathering of friends, colleagues, edu-luminaries, beloved writers and illustrators, just seems to go by much too fast. It’s the event I begin looking forward to once again as soon as the last session ends; even as I pack up  my piles of new books and prepare to fly back to New Jersey, I am thinking of next year.

Why? Because teachers need NCTE, we need forums in which to collect together, share our challenges, learn new ideas, form and strengthen bonds of friendship and professional admiration.  We need to know that in this ever shifting landscape of education, there are core ideas and ideals that we can articulate and find ways to hold tightly on to.  We need the collective spirit of being together in one place to coalesce into a renewed sense of joyful purpose.

NCTE 16 is now indeed a thing of the past, but this is what I get to keep:

*memories of conversations that filled my soul and renewed my teaching spirit

*wisdom gleaned from educators I so admire, which filled my notebook pages and will inform my teaching in the months to come

*a sense of being connected to something larger and more empowering than being just one teacher in one school – we are stronger together, and our students deserve our collective commitment to working to make their learning lives matter.

How lucky am I that I was a part of all this?  That I have so much, still, that I get to keep?

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19 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: What we get to keep

  1. It truly is what teachers need to fill their hearts and minds! I have been lucky to attend several national conferences in my career as a teacher. Those who never get to experience it don’t understand the power of like-minded educators coming together. I hope you will always be able to go. Your students deserve that!

  2. Conferences offer so much to teachers and as a result to the students they teach. It is so sad that many districts are cutting back on allowing teachers to participate in this renewing energy.

  3. So eloquently stated!

    Love your entire introduction . . .
    “NCTE 2016 is now officially a thing of the past; no longer do I think or speak of it with the anticipation of its arrival (full of excitement and hope), or the in-the-moment experience of its taking place (full of joy and wonder). I refer to it now in the past tense: I went, I heard, I saw….

    …and there is such a sadness in that.”

  4. Your post triggered for me a recall of the first time I attended NCTE. It was in San Antonio in 1986. I remember that a colleague and I went and how we were so studious–wanting to bring back so much to our fellow teachers. We all took turns going over the years. Glad it is still such an important event.

  5. Yes,it went by much too fast. Reading slices brings back the joy and a bit of sadness. While I agree with Fran, your first paragraph hits the nail on the head, your last two thoughts speak to my heart.

  6. You write so beautifully, Tara. One of the hardest parts of NCTE is having it be over. It does fill our soul, but it creates a void as well. Such great reflections. So glad I stopped over to read.

  7. I had to click on your notebook page to read all your great quotes. Looking forward to more NCTE posts! So glad you had this time to fill your soul. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. YES!
    “a sense of being connected to something larger and more empowering than being just one teacher in one school”
    I love NCTE, I feel a common goal and a common acceptance and beauty in everyone working together to inspire and push each other.

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