Natalie Glover is a current 10th grade tutor at Peters Township High School Writing Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
I am a part of the Peters Township High School Writing Center in Pittsburgh, PA, and this past year was my first experience at the CAPTA Conference. Although I was not presenting, my peers had been working to prepare a presentation for several months, and I went along as support. Our former writing center teacher had presented the opportunity to attend; I saw it as a chance to learn more about the possibilities for the developing a writing center back at our high school.
Once the much anticipated day of the conference had arrived, I was nervous, not knowing exactly what to expect. One of my friends (who was presenting) and I were there early enough that we were asked to help set up a few last minute details, and all of the adults were extremely welcoming and grateful for the help. This immediate kindness from everyone involved calmed my nerves and assured me that it would be a great day.
Once the introduction was about to start, all of the students and presenters had congregated in the main room, and I was amazed. The loud, crowded room was filled with an amazing passion for writing and sharing ideas that would benefit everyone. The atmosphere was relaxed and was encouraging to the flow of ideas. Sitting there, I was almost overwhelmed with the magnitude of creative and ambitious minds in the room, but it was an unforgettable experience.
Each of the sessions I attended was conducted in the same manner, not too formal, but still informative and intriguing. Following each presentation, the group of coaches from Peters would discuss new ideas that were shared and ways that we could possibly adapt them to our center. Many of these ideas have been implemented since then and have contributed to our success as a group!
This was my first conference ever, and it was such a positive experience that it most definitely will not be my last. I will even be presenting at the 2017 conference along with my peers. Hopefully, we will also be able to contribute to the sea of incredible ideas that are fostered throughout the gathering of different writing coaches.