My journey all started during last year's NCTE, when I met my twitter friend, Sarah Andersen (@yaloveblog) in person for the first time. Sarah is a high school teacher in Michigan, and we knew we got along really well, and after spending every meal together in 2011, we became official "convention buddies" and concocted our Super Secret Plan to submit a proposal to present at NCTE 2012. We recruited two other twitter teacher friends, Danielle (@MyMercurialMuse), a high school teacher in New Jersey, and Mindi (@mindi_r), a middle school literacy coach in IL, to join in our planning. We were all really excited to find out back in the spring that our proposal had been accepted and we would be presenting at NCTE 2012 in Vegas! Our session was titled Facilitating Choice Within Curriculum Constraints (you can find the slideshow here if you're interested) and we had a nice size audience in attendance on Friday afternoon and heard good feedback about our presentation. Special shout out to Chris Lehman (@ichrislehman) who tweeted out a bunch of our highlights from our session, and it was so great to meet him in person for the first time. I'm now hooked and have already started the gears in motion for Super Secret Plan #2 with Sarah, which we hope will culminate in presenting in Boston in 2013.
Special shout out to my awesome PLN I got to hang out with this year and learn and grow from throughout the six days we were together: Brian Wyzlic, Sarah Andersen, Jennifer Fountain, Lea Kelley, Beth Shaum, Mindi Rench, Danielle Kulawiak, Sherry Gick, Donalyn Miller, Kellee Moye, Jen Vincent, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner, Alyson Beecher, Cindy Minnich, and Niki Ohs Barnes.
Lea, Jennifer, and Brian (and sometimes Sherry) Also, they challenge me and inspire me and build me up int he way only another teacher/librarian can, and I thank them for it. Can't wait to convention together again next year!
|This is how we spend our time between sessions in Vegas! Books and Twitter|
Michelle Hodkin again, who is the author of one of my all-time favorite series, THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER and THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER. She's the sweetest person and I got to introduce her to some of my friends and get a second copy of Evolution signed by her to put into my classroom (because as much as I adore the first copy she signed for me, I can't put it in my classroom, so Lea gave her a little reminder before signing this one). She also grabbed me to introduce me to Eliot Schrefer, author of ENDANGERED, a book that I was raving about a couple of weeks ago. He was super nice also and it was so great to meet him in person after loving his book so much. Thanks to Michelle for making that introduction happen by yelling, "Jillian, stop!" as I was walking out of the exhibit hall to get lunch.
Special shout out to the awesomeness in reading material, booktalking, and author signings provided by: HarperCollins, Little Brown, Sourcebooks, Simon & Shuster, Penguin, Disney Hyperion, Scholastic, Macmillan, and Bloomsbury
Nerdy Book Club group who stayed for ALAN. It's always so much fun to go in the first morning and see everyone acting like it's Christmas morning as they tear open their boxes of 30 or more books and start stacking piles of what they want to keep, what they want to get signed, and what they want to trade with others. And then the negotiations begin. Being surrounded by books and bookish people and authors is definitely a room where I want to hang out for two days - and I did. We heard some amazing authors speak about inspiring things, had a brilliant keynote from Teri Lesene (@Professor Nana - if you're not following her, why not?!) who I want to be when I grow up, and lots of lines for silent signings in the back of the room after the authors spoke on their panels.
|Waiting, waiting, waiting for them to open the doors for ALAN|
|The ALAN Nerdy Book Club contingent|
|Already adding titles to my goodreads list!|
Thanks again to all of my friends who I got to spend time learning and talking and laughing with, to the publisher reps who were so overly generous and supportive, and to the authors who allowed me to gush over them and their writing and never looked at me like I was too crazy. See you next year!