Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Quotes to Remember from the NCTE Convention
Thanks to Stacey, Dana, Tara, Betsy, Anna, and Beth, the amazing writers and thinkers who host the Slice of Life community every Tuesday. Everyone is welcome to join with posts or comments at twowritingteachers.wordpress.com!
I am still overwhelmed by the experience of having attended NCTE over the weekend. As a first-timer, I wasn't sure what to expect, and now, I'm not sure how to process, share, and grow from all of the knowledge, reflection, and challenges that came at me over a 72 hour period. For the time being, I have mined some of my notes from the conference for some of the great quotes that I wanted to remember. Most could be found on twitter, but sometimes it's nice to read great lines in different places. I am sharing them here in no particular order. Every line could probably turn into a blog post--I know that I have plenty of material to write about over the next few weeks.
"If we're not constantly asking ourselves what are the kids learning, then we're not being teachers." Vicki Vinton
"Is reading about listing facts or creating understanding. What's our goal in reading?" Fran McVeigh
"I could write some really good retroactive lesson plans." Mary Lee Hahn
"The year that I reflected about my practice changed me as a teacher." Stacey Shubitz
"Twitter is like a cocktail party. Lurk and then get in and contribute. Don't be the person who sits by the punchbowl all the time." Stacey Shubitz
In talking about student participation in the Slice of Life, it serves as "A weekly reminder that we all have stories to share. Some are buried in those moments of the day that we don't realize are important but turn out to be really important." Tara Smith
In talking about a family writing night: "Writing together gives us words to stand on, walk across, and meet one another." Dana Murphy
"When we offer kids shortcuts...we deprive them of productive struggle." Vicki Vinton
"An essayist's job is to get people to care. Kids haven't come to care about what they are writing." Katherine Bomer
"Writing is about writing to think and about writing about something you care about. Should be about thinking, questioning, changing your mind." Katherine Bomer
"Complexity and difficulty are not the same thing." Mary Ehrenworth
"By the time kids are in 6th and 7th grade, they aren't seeing the beauty in nonfiction." Mary Ehrenworth
"You're not teaching kids for the test, you're teaching them for the lives that they want to live." Mary Ehrenworth
"When your baby hits her head, she looks at you to decide on how to react. Readers look to you to decide on how to react to books. If you present books as literature, they are going to act accordingly." Matt de la Pena
"Use the books that are not about race to talk about race and use the books about race to talk about universal themes." Mitali Perkins
"If you can’t put your essay in sections, you don’t know what it is about." Rebecca Joseph
Whatever outreach we are doing with families, we should be doing more." Chris Lehman
"Help all the children learn what they really need to know." Chris Lehman
"Educators have questions. Students have wonders." Maria Caplin
There were hundreds of lines that warranted repeating, tweeting, celebrating, and shouting out. Over the next few weeks, I will write about these lines, sharing the context, meaning, and substance behind them. For now, enjoy them as thought provoking statements that inspire conversation, debate, celebration, and wonder.