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#NCTE18: Friday Recap

Our first full day at the 2018 Annual Convention, we kicked into high gear! Today was packed with everything from early morning coffee and general sessions to cultural celebrations and book signings. These are just some of the amazing highlights from Friday at #NCTE18—be sure to share others with us on social media!

First-Timers’ Welcome

This morning, more than 600 first-time attendees gathered together to make connections, learn tips to navigate Convention, and hear from NCTE members Ernest Morrell and Donalyn Miller. In their presentations, they discussed the importance of professional development, NCTE membership, and attending the NCTE Annual Convention. Here are a few highlights from their discussion:

Ernest Morrell: “Be relentless. Be courageous. Be involved.”

Donalyn Miller: “Teaching is a profession, and while so many people are trying to deprofessionalize teaching, organizations like NCTE are what give us the professional support that we need.”

 

General Session: Students Raising Their Voices

Raising Student Voice is the theme of this year’s Convention, and there’s no better way to celebrate than to hear from students who have used their voices to change the world. This morning’s session was facilitated by NCTE members Antero Garcia and Kristin Ziemke, who reminded us, “Listening is an act of love.”

Six students who have created movements or organizations shared their powerful stories and messages, including:

Zephyrus Todd, student and social media creator: “Resist. Love. And be there for someone today.”

Olivia Van Ledjte, reader, thinker, and kids’ voice believer: “Let’s send more love into this world….The world needs your story.”

Jordyn Zimmerman, avid speaker and advocate for all students: “Every student that you work with can change the world.”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Indigenous climate activist and hip-hop artist: “Young people are not just the future, but we are here today. We have a critical role to play in building the future, but we have to start right now.”

Sara Abou Rashed, inspirational multilingual poet and author: “Because of my teachers, I kept writing; I kept believing.”

Marley Dias, social activist behind #1000blackgirlbooks: “Focus on teaching, but also on learning. Teach your students and learn from them. Have real conversations with students.”

 

Exhibit Hall Opening

This morning, the Exhibit Hall opened in a rush! Educators were eager to learn more about the educational resources available for their classrooms and meet their favorite authors.

 

Build Your Stack

With the opening of the Exhibit Hall, we also kicked off a new initiative of this year’s Annual Convention–Build Your Stack sessions! Each 20-minute session features authors and educators talking about their favorite books and how to use them in the classroom. These session will go on all weekend! Stop by tomorrow and Sunday to #BuildYourStack with NCTE!

 

ELATE Luncheon

During the English Language Arts Teacher Educators luncheon, ELATE awards were presented and we heard words of inspiration from David Levithan, author of many acclaimed and bestselling YA novels, including Every Day; Another Day; Boy Meets Boy; Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn); Two Boys Kissing; and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green).

 

Middle Level Section Luncheon

The Middle Level Section Luncheon honored middle level award winners and ended with a keynote from Linda Sue Park, author of the Newbery Medal-winning book A Single Shard and the bestseller A Long Walk to Water.

 

All-Attendee Event: A Celebration of Stories with Authors & Illustrators

During tonight’s All-Attendee event, we celebrated stories with the power to transform lives with a panel of authors and illustrators of books for all ages. Sharon M. Draper, author of Stella by Starlight, served as the moderator for this event, and reminded us that, “Not everybody can teach English, language, and literature.” We also heard words of wisdom from these authors:

Loren Long, children’s book author and illustrator shared the process behind how he and Matt de la Peña collaborated on Love.

Matt de la Peña, author, Love and Last Stop on Market Street: “Books are tools for conversation. If you allow the reader a place in the story, then you can create a conversation for a kid who’s struggling emotionally.”

Nina LaCour, author, We Are Okay: “Art and creation and making things can get us through difficult times.”

Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award winner and author, Poet X: “Hope is a thing we have to practice.”

 

Cultural Celebration

The sounds of the soul, the voices and verbs of the spoken word, and the eclectic energy of Houston highlighted an evening of culture, history, and performance, presented collectively by the Black and Latinx Caucuses. Each performance illuminated issues transcultural and representative of neo-American being, while highlighting children and stories told through themes of social justice and communities of harmony.

 

Be sure to check back tomorrow for even more highlights from the 2018 Annual Convention! In the meantime, find us on Twitter and Instagram at #NCTE18.

One more thing: If you’re joining us from home, be sure to tune in on Facebook tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. CT for a live announcement of the Children’s Book Awards Luncheon. We’ll be announcing the winners of the Orbis Pictus, Charlotte Huck, and Poetry for Children awards.