Last week in Teaching Land, I went to Houston to the #NCTE2018 Conference. I have many stories to share about all of the wonderful sessions, people I met, and conversations I had, but I need to focus on one particular experience.
Here is my story on how Laurie Halse Anderson helped me find my voice…again.
I learned something about myself this weekend: I really like the idea of roundtable discussions. Everyone at the table has an opportunity to be heard. The presenter and listeners depend on one another for the roundtable to be successful.
I chose to attend a session called, “Teaching for Equity and Justice with Young Adult Literature.” We had 20 something tables to choose from and only 2-3 rounds in the entire session. I overheard two teachers saying that Laurie would be talking at the “Speak” tables. The first table was titled “Date Rape in Speak.” Heavy topic, yes. But, even though I’ve only been an educator for 5 years, I’ve seen a great deal with how teachers, administrators, and students handle this topic. I just, I don’t know, I needed to be around others who would willingly have these conversations with me. Honestly, I needed to know I wasn’t the only one who felt a great burden when asked to teach this topic. So I went to the first round table in search of camaraderie.
*Microphone Click* First session begins.
This is a very, very late update about my 5th year as a teacher! If you're one of the few people who manage to get a text from me (apologies to those I'm awful at communicating with), you know I've been teaching 1st grade in Southwest Little Rock for the last five weeks. This has been quite a change from my last four years working as a middle and/or high school ELA teacher, but rest assured, my tiny students are actually quite funny.
12th Grade Englishy Friends
Me: “No, how much?”
Student J: “ 6 million! “ Picks up her phone says, “A, does Jacksonville do that?!”
Im assuming A mumbled something sarcastic back because J said, “Girl I got some of that money! It was easy! All I had to say was I’m a lesbian! I got money for being a lesbian!”
2nd grade Land
Me: “Just decent? I thought I looked pretty good!”
Student 1 : “Yeah, just decent.”
Student 2: “ That’s mean! She looks beautiful!”
Student 1: “ Quit sucking up just because you want markers.”
12th grade englishy friends
E: “iight. I’ll be back.”
Some time later.
E, busts through the door, kisses biceps, and says, “Mustang and Sally are ready.”
Student 1 : “Ptt. Ms. Daley. Can I use the thumb tack and pick your nail polish off?
Me, exchanging looks with student 2 : “ I’m sorry, what?”
Student 2: “Boy! If you ask her something stupid one more time imma call your grandma!”
Before I can answer, Student M, a girl, stands up a passes gass.
M: “Does that answer your question?”
Student G shouts, “Poop! *giggles intensely*
Conversations With B
Conversations With E
Tiny Teaching Edition