I am the new District Leader for the Illinois Valley for the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE), a part of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE).
It was also our annual convention just last weekend up in Oak Brook, Illinois. I learned a ton of new things, like the fantastic idea of the "novel reduction." I can add that to literature circles and then actually do independent reading of whatever the heck book they want to read. Cool. Plus, I got to meet keynote speaker Tim Duggan, a professor who puts out CDs of Shakespeare and poetry with real music. I also got to meet and hang out with the hilarious Illinois Author of the Year, Simone Elkeles.