We can’t believe it—the big day is finally here! #NCTE18, one of our favorite times of the year, kicked off this afternoon with a day full of learning, meeting new friends, and reconnecting with colleagues. Here are just a few of today’s highlights:
Early Learning Opportunities
We kicked off the learning early today with eighteen preconvention workshops on topics ranging from student podcasting to storytelling to writing and everything in between! In addition to these amazing workshops, sessions were also offered beginning at 1:00 p.m—and it was a full house!
Opening Session: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Americanah, and much more, offered a hopeful beginning to this year’s Convention at the opening general session. Here are some of the amazing quotes and ideas she shared:
“To be a good teacher is often not just about teaching the curriculum. It is also about those things that are harder to quantify: teaching confidence; making a child feel seen as an individual. Because when we value a student, we teach that student to value herself.”
“I want to argue that it’s important for us to make peace with discomfort. That there’s something perverse about expecting always to be comfortable. Life is messy. Sometimes discomfort opens us up to growth and to knowledge and to meaning.”
“There’s a certain kind of excessive ‘safeness’ that concerns me about what we think children should read or not read. We don’t need to be overly safe. We can afford to be uncomfortable.”
“There’s something wonderful and affirming about reading about your own reality and reading what is familiar to you. And that particular pleasure should never be denied anyone. But it is equally important to read about people who are not like you.”
We ended the day with one of our favorite parts of each year’s Annual Convention—Section get-togethers! At each of the celebrations, attendees were able to meet elected leaders who represent their section, network with educators from across the country, and hear from amazing keynote speakers:
Elementary Section Get-Together
Luis C. Moll is professor emeritus in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education, University of Arizona. He studies connections among culture, psychology, and education, especially as related to the education of Latinx children in the United States, including literacy instruction in English and Spanish; how knowledge is produced in the social contexts of households and communities; and, with teachers, pedagogical relationships among these domains. His coedited volume Funds of Knowledge: Theorizing Practices in Households, Communities, and Classrooms (2005) received the 2006 Critics’ Choice Award. His most recent book is L. S. Vygotsky and Education (2014).
Middle Level Meet-Up
Duncan Tonatiuh’s books have been honored with many awards and accolades, including the Pura Belpré Award, the Robert F. Sibert Award, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award. He was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, in the historic state of Guanajuato, Mexico. He studied illustration and writing at Parsons School of Design at the New School in New York City. He lives in San Miguel with his wife and two children and frequently travels to the United States.
Secondary Section Get-Together
Author of Shadowshaper as well as several books for adults, including the popular Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, Daniel José Older also successfully petitioned to change the World Fantasy Award trophy to reflect the actual diversity of authors in the genre.
This year, we have some fantastic new gear in NCTE Central! Be sure to stop by for first dibs on the amazing new shirts, tote bags, books, and more!
Even more great things are coming to #NCTE18 tomorrow, so be sure to check the app and follow us on social media! Meanwhile, first-time attendees won’t want to miss this:
Friday, November 15
7:00 a.m. in Grand Ballroom A
This informative session is a great way to kick off your NCTE Annual Convention experience. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from NCTE members Ernest Morrell and Donalyn Miller as well as connect with other NCTE members. This special gathering provides an opportunity for you to gain quick tips and strategies that will expand your knowledge of NCTE and your professional network.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for a new blog post full of amazing highlights from Friday.