I only got to stay one day this year, but I must say I think Atlanta did a fantastic job hosting this year’s conference! Bravo, ATL!
I’m also digging NCTE’s new logo, or maybe it was just the logo for the conference this year. In any case, love the simplicity of the design.
With the one day I did spend at the conference, I packed in as much as I could, including seeing some fellow doc students and recent grads, meeting with my dissertation chair, hanging out with the Kennesaw State crew, and probably most importantly receiving stellar feedback on my dissertation at my roundtable. The only regret was not getting to meet one of my ELA heroes, Buffy Hamilton, when I had the chance. The stars simply did not align.
I wish I had a picture to share of my fellow doc students that I have been in a cohort with for nearly four years. Still, seeing them and catching up was a big highlight of the conference. (Anyone who attends conferences knows the best part is always the networking!) I was excited to see so many of my cohort mates are still moving their research forward, stretching toward the finish line. Speaking of finish lines, two of my former cohort mates have indeed crossed that finish line and successfully defended their dissertation recently. Congrats, Dr. Campos and Dr. Foster! Seeing them both again since they defended was definitely motivation to work towards crossing it myself soon.
I had a great opportunity to sit down with my dissertation chair and chat briefly about chapters four and five of my dissertation. There is a ton of work left, but I left the meeting encouraged that I am continuing to move in the right direction. I also had the chance to catch up with my other committee members–both of which no long live in Atlanta, so seeing them is always encouraging as well. Fingers crossed I cross my own finish line in February!
I also had the chance to hang out and network with a number of Kennesaw State faculty and students. I will continue to proclaim that KSU produces some of the finest English teachers I have ever met, and the faculty is among the best in the country in teacher preparation. I look forward to seeing this crew at every NCTE.
Finally, and again most importantly, I received excellent and encouraging feedback on my study during my roundtable session. This year my respondent was Lindy Johnson of William & Mary (former doc student at the University of Georgia). Lindy has a reputation for having a great critical eye and is well versed in the English Education field. I can now back that claim up! Dr. Johnson was both encouraging and critical of my study. I walked away with some great notes from someone unfamiliar with my project.
I am hopeful I can make it to St. Louis next year. NCTE is a well-run and empowering conference. For any of my fellow English teachers out there, I strongly suggest you become a member if you are not already. At the very least, if you are in GA, become a member of GCTE.