A Break in Tradition

I knew it was coming when I saw the Facebook post from the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) yesterday afternoon. Then this morning the National Council of Teachers of English sent an email to all members announcing that the annual convention would go virtual after an 110-year face-to-face run.

In the grand scheme of all that the world is dealing with (I tear as I type those words: no words can do justice), it’s a negligible loss, but it is a loss, one added to the endlessly mounting pile. I’ve written about the value of coming together with devoted educators, the hive of learning that professional organizations afford their members before.

As I exited the closing session in Baltimore, 2019, I received a blank notebook

When “things come together,” when there is union such as the convergence of two rivers, the flow joining to create a stronger body able to carve its way through rock over time, the apparently immovable remade, a fateful choice for a convention theme: confluencia!

And these words stored on its once-blank pages:

It’s great to not to be finished EVER!

I’m clinging to that.

5 thoughts on “A Break in Tradition”

  1. I was supposed to go to the ALA conference in Chicago at the end of June. It has also gone virtual. The next meeting I need to attend is ALA Midwinter in January. I am wondering what that will look like.

  2. It is hard to imagine no NCTE this year. There is something about the energy at a national conference that just can’t be duplicated virtually, It will be interesting to see what NCTE comes up with for this year.

    1. I absolutely agree. The infusion of inspiration, the galvanizing effects…and we’re ZOOMED OUT, too. Thanks for reading. I know you’re another attendee. Here’s to 2021.

  3. Patricia,
    You are right! Face-to-face time with educators is awesome. Here’s to 2021. “It’s great to not be finished EVER!” That’s good advice right there. If we aren’t learning and growing, I guess we aren’t really still alive. So here’s to learning virtually and in person, later.

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