Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend two stimulating national conferences and am delighted to report on them here. There is nothing like a conference to charge oneself up, connect with old friends and meet new ones. At the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Las Vegas, I was a bit in shell shock with the stimulation of lights and action in the city that never sleeps. Based on the huge crowds on the strip, and in the casinos, you’d never think that our economy is struggling. I tried a few rounds at the penny slot machines, laughing with with Spokane writer friends Meghan Nuttall Sayres and Kelly Milner Halls. Laughing hysterically, as if I don’t have a knack or a penchant for it.
I felt most at home with the teachers and fellow writers down at the conference, away from the glitz. These dedicated professionals just want to get the best books into the hands of kids. It was an honor to present on a panel about using picture books with older readers. We had a great crowd and discussion afterwards. I am glad that I talked about the marriage of art and story in picture books and how much one enhances the other in multiple ways.
At the National Council of Social Studies conference in Seattle the following day, I felt at home downtown in the rain, home of my two children, many other relatives and dear writing friends. To be around so many teachers who care passionately about history, I was like a gambler in Las Vegas and I couldn’t get enough. It was fun to wear my suffrage outfit and share my passion for women’s suffrage. I never tire of telling the stories of Susan B. and the thousands, millions of women who made it happen for the rest of us. Let’s countdown to the 100th anniversary celebration of the 10th amendment in 2020.