AUDREY FISCH ELECTED PRESIDENT OF NJCTE

audreyNJCTE is excited to announce the election of Audrey Fisch as President.

Audrey serves as Professor of English at New Jersey City University where she has taught in both the English and Elementary and Secondary Education Departments for nearly twenty-five years. Until Fall 2017, she led the Secondary English Education Program as Coordinator. She also created, secured external funding for, and led the NJCU Teacher Training Program, placing NJCU students with an interest in education into long-term paid internships in schools where they serve as teaching assistants, tutors, and mentors for their younger peers.

Audrey has written and edited books about nineteenth-century literature and culture for Oxford, Cambridge and Helm publishers. She has also written extensively about pedagogy and education, including the book series, Using Informational Text, co-authored with NJCTE Board Member Susan Chenelle for Rowman and Littlefield. Susan and Audrey’s fourth and latest volume in the series, Using Informational Text to Teach The Great Gatsby, was just published in March 2018.

Audrey is thrilled to take the helm at NJCTE, following in the large footsteps of recent past presidents Susan Reese and Laura Nicosia. She hopes NJCTE will continue to fulfill its mission: “to offer a community of practices, research, and resources, providing access for diverse educators and students to create, collaborate, and lead in New Jersey and beyond.”

If you are interested in learning more about NJCTE, including our wonderful fall and spring conferences, our journal – New Jersey English Journal, our middle school and high school writing contests, and our many other activities devoted to “applying the power of language and literacy to pursue justice and equity for the students and teachers of New Jersey,” please see our website (njcte.com). We are always interested in new members and people who want to join in the work of the organization. Feel free to reach out to Audrey at njctepresident@gmail.com.

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

AUDREY FISCH ELECTED PRESIDENT OF NJCTE

6 Word Sentences from 2018 Student NJEA Annual State Conference: What Makes Teaching Special?

 

What Makes Teaching Special?

(A Stream of Thoughtfulness)

 

“Why do you teach?” I inquired one day.

“Why do you teach?” I say.

“What drives you to the classroom day after day?”

“What motivates you?” I say.

So much to learn and share.

 

You say

Inspiring children to become leaders

Ensuring a high-quality education.

Unlocking every student’s potential

Helping others achieve their dreams

So much to learn and share.

 

You say

Creating lifelong learners

Expressing that we care

Giving equal opportunity to all students

Inspiring a love of learning

So much to learn and share.

 

You say

Working with those creating the future

Sharing knowledge with students and colleagues

Helping children be successful in school

Living life with people who care

So much to learn and share.
You say

Making a difference for those underserved

Always bringing something new to students

Watching students grow and mature

So much to learn and share.

 

You say

The opportunity to help everyone

Bringing life skills to every student

Unleashing passion and dedication

So much to learn and share.

So much to learn and share.

So much to learn and share.

 

The 6-word sentences used in this poem have been compiled by NJCTE Board Member Joseph S. Pizzo at the 2018 Student NJEA Annual State Conference held in Princeton on March 10. Both pre-service teachers and veteran teachers, professors, staff, and administrators are represented. A poetic framework has been added to the original comments. Some minor editing has been done to maintain the original six-word format for the comments.

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
6 Word Sentences from 2018 Student NJEA Annual State Conference: What Makes Teaching Special?

CONGRATULATIONS TO M. JERRY WEISS EARLY-CAREER TEACHER AWARD WINNER: SAMANTHA SHANE

Please join all of us at NJCTE in congratulating Samantha Shane, one of the 2018 M. Jerry Weiss Early-Career Teacher Award Winners.

Samantha Shane graduated from Montclair State University. During her time at MSU, she was Vice President of Kappa Delta Pi and the Teacher’s Club scholarship, which recognizes preservice teachers for their work at the undergraduate level.  She also worked as a tutor off campus. At this tutoring center, she developed their English program. After graduation, she worked at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, NJ, and Sparta Middle School in Sparta, NJ. She is currently teaching at Morris County School of Technology. She is also pursuing her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and hopes to continue to grow and learn as an educator. She is especially focused on infusing technology in the English classroom.

We look forward to Samantha’s contributions to NJCTE and to her continued success in  infusing English education with technology.

If you have a teacher whom you would like to nominate for this or another NJCTE award, please check out the criteria and nomination process on our website.

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

CONGRATULATIONS TO M. JERRY WEISS EARLY-CAREER TEACHER AWARD WINNER: SAMANTHA SHANE

New Jersey English Journal: 2018 Volume

Please join all of us at NJCTE in celebrating the publication of the 2018 volume of New Jersey English Journal. Congratulations to the writers, editor Liz DeBeer, and to all of the New Jersey English Journal editorial board. All of the contributions to the 2018 volume can be accessed at the NJCTE website.

New Jersey English Journal:
2018 Issue

Transformative Teaching in the 21st Century: Teachers as Catalysts

3  Call for Manuscripts

4  From the Editor
Liz deBeer

8  Shake Hands with the Muse
Marian Calabro

9  An Imaginary Party Sparks Academic Conversation
Lauren Zucker

12 Transforming Literacy Education for First-Generation College Students
Earl Aguilera and Geraldine Lopez

21 The Need to be FLEXible: Teaching English in the Republic of Georgia
Elliot Tombs

24 Tribute to M. Jerry Weiss: Professor, Author, Inspiration
Maria Schantz and Lois Sullivan

30  7:17 AM
Sue Kenney

31  Transformative Teaching: Rewriting the World in the English Classroom through Literature
Patricia Hans

40 The Growth of a Growth Mindset
Scott Hebenstreit

48 Dancing on Beat
Rachelle Parker

49 Finding Calm in a Sea of Doubt
Kelsey Kazmac

51 Coaching Writers: Three Lessons a Writing Teacher Can Learn from a High School Swim Coach
Jason J. Griffith

69 Composing Our Classrooms: A Veteran Provides Context for Inclusion and Collaborations
Anthony Albright

72  Rememory
Marian Calabro

73 Beyond Ability: How Disability Enables Us to See Injustice
Chris Bass

81  Education, not Standardization: (What if high-stakes testing were to be abolished?)
Joseph S. Pizzo

82  The Power of Class Discussion: The Art of Letting Kids Talk
Astrid Alvarez

88 Graphic Novels in the Pedagogical Literary Landscape: Persepolis & “The Cannon”
Nimisha Patel

95  My Ball
Rachelle Parker

96 Anonymous Online Polling: A 21st Century Discussion Hook
Maria Geiger

Artists:

Izzy Blanchard-Boyce, p. 39

Liz deBeer, p. 5

Bridget Fajvan, pp. 11, 48 & 98

Do you think you might be interested in contributing to New Jersey English Journal? We welcome your submissions! Please see our call for the 2019 volume.

Posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE

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

New Jersey English Journal: 2018 Volume

2019 New Jersey English Journal – Call for Manuscripts

 New Jersey English Journal, a peer-reviewed publication of New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, invites you to share submissions on the theme: The Intersection of Literacy and Democracy:  What role does language arts play in a free society?  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 the theme of The Intersection of Literacy and Democracy at all grade levels from kindergarten to college. Spring 2018 NJ English Journal

Articles should relate directly to English Language Arts teaching and learning.  We value responses from both veteran and new teachers. Writers are urged to read past editions available online. The 2017 edition, on the theme Transformative Teaching in the 21st Century: Teachers as Catalysts, is available now!

We invite you to respond to the theme by considering these:

  • How can 21st century literacies enable us to participate more fully in today’s democracy?
  • How can ELA teachers connect the classroom to today’s society?
  • How can we teach students to find the truth in today’s media world?
  • Discuss reading, writing, global connectedness and free speech.
  • How can reading and writing affect change beyond the classroom?
  • How can we use speaking, listening and viewing to create more participatory citizens?
  • How do reading and writing teach us to listen and develop empathy?
  • Why do we need to read and write collaboratively?
  • In a connected world, how can we determine which texts are worthy of our attention?
  • How does interdisciplinary collaboration foster increased connection and awareness in a fully democratic society?

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, 2018. Submissions should not have been published in any other journal. Submissions must use MLA formatting and Times New Roman or Garamond in Size 12.  All submissions will be reviewed by multiple members of our editorial board.  Submitters will receive a response by February 1, 2019; the journal will be released by April 1, 2019.  Send queries and submissions to 2019 journal editor Liz deBeer at ldebeerwardell@gmail.com.

Posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE

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

2019 New Jersey English Journal – Call for Manuscripts

Congratulations to Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Award Winner: Evan Dickerson

Please join all of us at NJCTE in congratulating Evan Dickerson, one of the 2018 Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Award Winners.

Evan Dickerson is a writer, filmmaker, and emerging educator with a passion for storytelling. From a young age, he’s been enraptured with the art of narrative. He graduated summa cum laude from Montclair State University’s B.F.A. filmmaking program where he focused on screenwriting. His work developing original feature and television scripts garnered the attention of MSU’s School of Communication and Media who presented him with the 2014 Award for Excellence in Screenwriting. Evan has worked as a freelance writer, story editor, and production manager for various films throughout the New Jersey area. He’s also worked for Montclair Film’s education program since 2015 as a filmmaking and screenwriting instructor. He currently serves as Montclair Film’s curriculum coordinator, where he develops hands-on workshops, maintains the school’s high-tech media lab, and works closely with instructors to provide students with the most engaging and meaningful instruction.

It was during his time working with students aged eight-to-eighty that he found an affinity for teaching, and decided to return to Montclair State for a B.A. in English and an M.A.T. in Secondary English Education. Evan is currently completing his fieldwork at Bloomfield High School where he enjoys spreading the love of literature, art, and film with students eager to tell their own stories. As an educator, Evan’s goal is to synthesize technology and high-interest, hyper-relevant texts to foster a love of reading and writing while also promoting literacy, particularly in our digital age.

When he’s not in the classroom, you can find Evan at the movies, on the golf course, or in a pretentious little cafe, sipping free-trade coffee, while working on his next screenplay.

We look forward to Evan’s contributions to NJCTE and to his continued success in both film and English education.

If you have a teacher whom you would like to nominate for this or another NJCTE award, please check out the criteria and nomination process on our website.

Posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE

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

Congratulations to Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Award Winner: Evan Dickerson

Welcome to New Board Member Susan Chenelle

Please welcome NJCTE’s newest board member, Susan Chenelle.

Susan Chenelle is Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction at University Academy Charter High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she taught English and journalism for several years. Her favorite days at work are those when she escapes her office and spends most of the day working and learning with teachers and students. She is the co-author of the Using Informational Text to Teach Literature series from Rowman & Littlefield with Audrey Fisch, with whom she has presented about informational text and cross-disciplinary collaboration at schools around New Jersey and conferences across the country. She earned her master’s degree in urban education from New Jersey City University, and she is now pursuing a doctoral degree at Montclair State University in Teacher Education and Teacher Development.

Susan was also honored by NJCTE in 2017 as Educator of the Year.

Posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE

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

Welcome to New Board Member Susan Chenelle

Review: Beyond Literary Analysis

 

beyond literary analysisWe’ve all had those experiences of grading the same literary essays on the same books over and over again.  At best, students write something that they hope will please their teachers, a piece that’s devoid of the joy of intellectual discovery and is about as exciting as a turkey sandwich.  At worst, students are attempting to copy another’s work and hoping they won’t get caught.

Beyond Literary Analysis is high school English teachers Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell’s attempt to move away from formulaic writing about literature and towards analytical writing about the real world.  They argue that the kinds of literary analyses we ask students to write don’t exist in the real world beyond academic journals, while analyses of, say, school shootings or a discussion of Beyonce’s influence on pop culture are much more prevalent in a reader’s life.

Through a series of chapters that include mentor texts, targeted mini-lessons, and student exemplars, Marchetti and O’Dell describe how they encourage students to write analyses from brainstorming to revision.

This book builds directly off of the teaching philosophies and unit structures described in Writing With Mentors, Marchetti and O’Dell’s first collaboration, so I would recommend that anybody new to writing workshop for grades 7-12 begin reading there.  The focus of this text is on presenting student-ready mini-lessons, mentors sentences for imitation, and conferring points to help students further their expression and craft in essays.

This book’s exemplars, mentor texts, and model sentences make it ideal for advanced high school students who can appreciate reading articles like “ What happened to J.Crew?” from The New York Times.  Teachers of middle or elementary school students can use some of the ideas in this book, but they will have to work to adjust the mentor texts and the mini-lessons to be more appropriate to age, background knowledge, interest, and reading ability.   For example, I could see an elementary or middle school teacher using the Scholastic magazine two-column debates (e.g. “Should schools have uniforms?) as a mentor text and invite students to create and design their own debates.

As satisfying as this book is as both a manifesto about writing and a teaching reference, I’m still left wondering how teachers should teach writing about literature.  Perhaps it’s not worth the time or energy to ask students to develop a full essay about a literary text.

What should teachers ask students to do instead?

Written by Amy Estersohn, NJCTE Member. Amy Estersohn is a middle school English teacher in Westchester County who also blogs at threeteacherstalk.com and teachingtransition.wordpress.com.

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
Review: Beyond Literary Analysis