This post was written by NCTE member Danielle Parker, reprinted with permission from ELATE-GS. They asked members what their biggest takeaways from last year’s NCTE Annual Convention were, whether they’re following up from work that was inspired or begun at NCTE, and how their experience attending the conference is bringing their work forward. Read on!
As a first-time in-person attendee, I was deeply inspired and moved by the presentations I saw and the educators I connected with at NCTE’s 2022 Annual Convention in Anaheim. My identity as a scholar, educator, and human, my passion for education, activism, and research felt reignited. I attended this conference as a graduate student beginning her final year, trudging through the immense weight of drafting and completing my master’s project. I left this conference with a sense of clarity, purpose, and drive to not only complete my project, but also a dream of returning to the NCTE Annual Convention in 2023 to showcase my work alongside the very scholars who inspired me at NCTE in 2022. Many new projects emerged from NCTE 2022, one being an article in progress for the Future is Now column, recapping my experience and inquiry process from presenting at the roundtable of the same name. Another project that surfaced, spurred by the findings of my master’s project, is an organization Dr. Naitnaphit Limlamai and I cofounded at Colorado State University called Queeries. Dr. Limlamai, with whom I was able to further connect at the conference, and I have begun the work of creating our university’s first space for Queer-identifying educators, as well as allies and co-conspirators. Queeries holds space for folks to be in community and celebrate, honor, and uplift the voices, experiences, and excellence of LGBTQIA2S+- educators in the Northern Colorado area. Upon returning to Colorado, I still felt in awe of having the immense honor of being able to connect with other educators, particularly other educators who, like me, also identify as queer women. These connections reinforced for me not only my belonging in education, but a future in education where I am able to show up fully, authentically, and as wholly myself as possible. This conference was nothing short of rejuvenating and restorative, and I’m beyond grateful that I got to attend alongside my amazing, brilliant colleagues.
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