The Edge of Chaos - National Council of Teachers of English
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The Edge of Chaos

This post by NCTE member Stephanie Jalowiec is reprinted with permission from her blog post The Edge of Chaos. 


Why should you attend the NCTE Convention this year? We’re sharing a series of reflections from teachers who attended the 2017 NCTE Annual Convention to help you answer this very question! 


Unlike my colleagues who immediately go into a flurry of response to what they learn, I’m currently suffering from conference paralysis.

For me, attending NCTE is pretty much the same as sitting on the edge of chaos. It’s exhausting, loud, and soul searching. I never quite know what to do next.

And have you read my colleagues’ blog posts? How can I even begin to follow Jim’s sharing of his heartbreak and how he is turning life experiences into hope and growth? And the musings from Karlen, who is constantly tweaking lessons to make her classroom into a beautiful, inviting environment for readers and writers to learn? To grow personally and professionally beside them is a gift.

Yesssss, NCTE was full of aha moments, but my brain just needs a time-out to process all the wisdom I collected over the past five days. My guess is that there are thousands of English teachers who returned to their classrooms this morning on full overload. Maybe you need this, too?

I present to you the following deep thoughts on attending the NCTE Annual Convention with Crazy One and Crazy Two through GIFs. . . .


Karlen and I getting lost while trying to use Google Maps to get from our hotel to the Convention Plaza:



Jim or Karlen sitting next to me during a session while I’m trying to be a good listener:



Karlen running into Twitter friends at Starbucks:       giphy-4


Karlen trying to enter the Exhibit Hall on Sunday while I ran the other way:



Karlen getting to hang with Penny Kittle for her Book Love session:



Jim after getting a Penny Kittle retweet:          yx87VHP


Jim as inspiration hits:                 giphy-7


Me listening to session speakers discussing common practice vs best practice:



All three of us getting books at ALAN:



What teachers think they look like (in general) when getting free books:



What we really look like:                                h0A96F8BF


Teachers climbing into bed at the end of a grueling conference day:



And finally—ME . . . walking past, standing near, and trying to speak to my author heroes:


Thank you, NCTE and St. Louis, for the much needed renewal.