The Western Washington University Children’s Literature Conference is in it’s 8th year and this year it actually took on a NEW name. The Western Washington University Children’s Literature Alternative Conference.
This time of year, mid-January to the end of February often becomes a dark time for me in teaching. The kids are just as great, in fact they are fantastic, they can run the class on their own. They know the procedures, the content is sinking in and they are thriving. They could almost do it without me. For me though the monotony, the daily grind hits and often I have found myself “bored” or falling too much into “routine.” The conference always kicks some sense into me and come back refreshed and inspired.
This funk never lasts long, due in large part to my weekend at the WWU CLC!
Last year I had the honor of introducing Gerald McDermott a truly remarkable man and author/illustrator. It was huge honor for me and my First Grade Friends, and was a responsibility we took very seriously. We studied him as a person and his craft. We studied folklore and practiced our own retellings of stories passed through generations and cultures. The kids fell in love with folklore but specifically McDermott’s illustrations and how he tells a story.
And along the way I have fallen in love with other children’s and young adult authors like Linda Sue Park (pictured below), Jon Agee, Marlee Frazee, John Green, Sharon Creech, and Laurie Halse Anderson
If you are a teacher reading and are considering attending next year… I say, “GO!” No reason should keep you away. I brought a colleague this year and she felt the same. She is a WWU CLC believer. We have March 9, 2012 on the calendar already. Next year I plan to bring another friend who is an aspiring author/illustrator. His sense of humor, incredible talent, and the fact that he has story just built into him makes him the perfect attendee!
I am so excited! True inspiration for me.
If I were hanging the “stories” from this conference on a clothesline the titles would be…