Teachers: “You Gotta Believe”

True Story:
September 28, 2008. Last Game at Shea Stadium: Mets v. Marlins. Somehow, we secured boxed seats, which were behind the Marlins’ dugout. Thrilling day – we were celebrating my birthday. I’m not a big baseball gal, but I love watching any game live – and it was Shea’s finale.  mets

I sat next to this guy, whose name I don’t even remember, but I’ll call Carl. I mentioned it was my birthday.

“No kiddin’?” Carl says, and then calls out to the Marlins’ ball boy: “Hey, it’s this lady’s birthday. Can we have a ball?”

The kid grabs a ball and tosses it to us. Carl– a guy I did not know – proceeds to get several celebrities to sign the ball for me, telling them it’s my birthday. (I’m talking Jerry Seinfeld, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close and some baseball players who I don’t know).

But that’s not the best thing.

What really got me was Carl himself. The Mets were struggling most of the game. Carl had several signs that he would hold up periodically. My favorite: “You Gotta Believe!” Whenever the Mets messed up, Carl would hold up the sign and sing a little ditty: “You Gotta Believe, You Gotta Believe, You Gotta Believe, You Gotta Believe!”

I LOVED IT.  Mets sign-guy-300x205

I had never before connected to the Met’s famous saying (from pitcher Tug McGraw in 1973). But it was the highlight of that awesome day in 2008. Better than the signed baseball, better than the iconic experience. I loved Carl’s reaction to setback.

The Mets lost. (Marlins 4 – Mets 2).

I still have that signed baseball, but I really treasure meeting Carl and hearing the Met’s chant.

This is what we teachers need in our lives: Carl’s faith, even when our team is down. It is a tough time now for teachers. The testing culture seems to be like the Dementors from Harry Potter – sucking our souls with each contact. It can feel debilitating and deflating.

We have to remember Carl. Even if we don’t have his sign, we “Gotta Believe,” we need to keep the faith. The students need us.

Mets YouGottaBelieve1

Written by Liz deBeer, NJCTE Board Member and editor of New Jersey English Journal    

Posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE

New Jersey Council of Teachers of English
New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, the New Jersey state affiliate of NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English
Teachers: “You Gotta Believe”

Call for submissions


2018 Issue of New Jersey English Journal:                                           

New Jersey English Journal, a peer-reviewed publication of New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, invites you to share submissions on “Transformative Teaching in the 21st Century: Teachers as Catalysts.”  We seek researched articles as well as 500-word personal essays and other creative responses that shed light on the many possibilities, topics, issues, problems and solutions related to transformative teaching in the 21st century at all grade levels from kindergarten to college. Articles should relate directly to English Language Arts teaching and learning.  We value responses from both veteran and new teachers. Co-written articles are also welcome. Writers are urged to read past editions available online at www.njcte.com to review past successful submissions.

New Jersey English Journal publishes thoughtful and carefully edited pieces, but we particularly welcome submissions and queries from new authors. We are interested in helping emerging writers to develop their public voices. So feel free to reach out for feedback.

We invite you to respond to the theme of “Transformative Teaching in the 21st Century: Teachers as Catalysts” by considering such questions as:

* Teaching Language Arts in a Technological Age

* Encouraging Critical Thinking & Creativity in an Assessment-Driven Environment.

* Creating Community & Encouraging Empathy in Language Arts Classrooms

* Building Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions for Global Citizenship

* Dispelling Myths about Education Today

* Social Justice Pedagogy and Tackling Controversial Topics

* Methods for Teaching beyond The Canon: Suggestions for 21st Century Texts and Strategies

In addition to submissions that respond to the theme, we also welcome poetry on the topic of teaching.  Submissions will be accepted between April 1 and December 15, 2017.  Submissions should not have been published or simultaneously submitted to any other journal. Submissions must use MLA formatting and Time New Roman or Garamond Font in Size 12.  All submissions will be reviewed by multiple members of our editorial board.  Submitters will receive a response by February 1, 2018; the journal will be released by April 1, 2018.  Send queries and submissions to 2018 journal editor Liz deBeer at ldebeerwardell@gmail.com.

NEW: NJCTE is also seeking blog entries for our NEW blog (www.njcte.wordpress.com). The short format of our blog offers a great opportunity to try out new ideas. Send queries and submissions to our blog editor Audrey Fisch at afisch@njcu.edu.

Posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE.

New Jersey Council of Teachers of English
New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, the New Jersey state affiliate of NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English



Call for submissions

New Jersey English Journal Wins NCTE Award

_Badge_Journal (003)

New Jersey English Journal, edited by Liz deBeer of Brookdale Community College and Patricia Bender of Rutgers University-Newark and published by the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, has been named as a recipient of the 2017 NCTE Affiliate Journal of Excellence Award, given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

This award, established in 1995, honors outstanding affiliate journals and their editors who demonstrate excellence in these publications.

The winning affiliate journal must be a magazine-type publication—print or online–and provide members with scholarly articles on issues and topics related to English language arts teaching. The journals are judged on content, organization, layout, and physical appearance. The variety of articles published are judged on quality of writing, evidence of research and scholarly exploration, appeal to many different groups within the affiliate, coverage of important issues in English language arts education, and inclusion of other types of writing (e.g., poetry, affiliate news, book reviews).

The award winners will be announced at the 2017 NCTE Annual Convention in St. Louis, during the Affiliate Roundtable Breakfast on Sunday, November 19.

Other winners include California English, edited by Carol Jago of the University of California, Los Angeles and published by the California Association of Teachers of English; The English Record, edited by Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs of SUNY Oneonta and published by the New York State English Council; Ohio Journal of English Language Arts, edited by Patrick Thomas of University of Dayton and published by the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts; Oregon English Journal, edited by Ulrich Hardt of Portland State University and Kimberly Campbell of Lewis and Clark College and published by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English; Virginia English Journal, edited by Sean Ruday of Longwood University and published by the Virginia Association of Teachers of English; and Wisconsin English Journal, edited by John Pruitt of University of Wisconsin Rock County and published by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English.

For more information about the NCTE Affiliate Journal of Excellence Award, see http://www.ncte.org/affiliates/awards/journal.

Contact: Millie Davis, Senior Developer, Affiliates, 217-278-3634, mdavis@ncte.org.

NJ English Journal Cover

Read the latest issue of NJCTE’s New Jersey English Journal on the NJCTE website: www.njcte.com!

Posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE.

New Jersey English Journal Wins NCTE Award