As a future teacher, I saw the potential that an event like the Decatur Arts Festival could bring for my students. I thought about the ways my students could connect to a book, when they connect to the authors that write the words they read on the pages. My students could connect to the real-person-author in front of them, have the opportunity to ask them questions about the characters they love of the writing process they may be eager to begin leaving their mark on. My students could connect on a whole new level to literature through an event like this, a they could get something out of reading that I could not give them directly in my classroom. If I ever have the opportunity to provide my students an experience with an event like this, I will surely seize the opportunity.
I also thought about how I could bring aspects of the books festival into my classroom, for my students who may not have the opportunity to attend such an event. Author talks, with services like Skype or simple webcam connections could bring this type of experience into my classroom. I met several authors at NCTE that gave me their cards and offered to provide such services for my classes. I also thought about my own experience at the festival and what physical artifacts and ideas I could bring back to my classroom. I collected some signed books from the festival, and I thought about how these signatures could be beneficial for my students. Perhaps when they see the signatures they could reflect on the the story the books tell, not just in their plots, but also in their nature as artifacts of the writing process. Books are written by people. My students are valuable, intelligent and creative people. My students can tell their own stories in their writing, and I need to remind them of this as much as possible.