Notes from the 2017 NCTE Affiliate Breakfast

Yesterday, I wrote about attending the NCTE 2017 Annual Business Meeting. I also had the honor to represent the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English at the NCTE Affiliate Roundtable Breakfast.

Affiliate BreakfastNJCTE was among the many affiliates to be honored in a number of categories: Affiliate Membership Recruitment Award (for affiliates whose membership grew by 5% or more in 2016-2017); Affiliate Newsletter of Excellence Award (for NJCTE e-Focus, edited by Patricia Schall  and Susan Reese), Affiliate Journal of Excellence Award (for New Jersey English Journal, edited by Liz deBeer), and NCTE Affiliate Excellence Awards (for NCTE affiliates that meet high standards of performance).

Journal of Excellence Award
NJCTE Board Member Audrey Fisch accepts the 2017 NCTE Journal of Excellence Award on Behalf of New Jersey English Journal

We won the latter award for the 6th year!

We have done some good work together. But there is more work to be done!

NJCTE is beginning an examination of our website, which may need an update. Are you interesting in participating in this task? If yes, please reach out to NJCTE Board Member Sarah Gross (@thereadingzone), who is spearheading this initiative. We are also planning to submit an application to the NCTE Fund Teachers for the Dream Award, which is a grant intended to support initiatives aimed at recruiting English language arts teachers of color. Reach out to NJCTE Board Member Audrey Fisch (@audreyfisch) about helping with this initiative.

Finally, I want to add that the most inspiring and impressive element of the Affiliate Breakfast was hearing from the winners of the NCTE Student Affiliate of Excellence award winners. These are the amazing teachers and NCTE leaders of our future, and they were a phenomenal group of young people. NJCTE needs to develop a student affiliate (or more than one). Do we have a teacher educator who might help with this initiative? Reach out to NJCTE President Susan Reese (@mrsreese) if you are interested. Or reach out to us through the comments section of this blog or the NJCTE website. We welcome your interest!

Meanwhile, congratulations to all who have worked to make NJCTE a success. Let’s continue to build on that success!

Written by Audrey Fisch, Board Member, NJCTE, Professor of English, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ

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

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Notes from the 2017 NCTE Affiliate Breakfast

Notes from the NCTE 2017 Annual Convention Business Meeting

This November, I had the honor to represent the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention in St. Louis. One of my responsibilities was to attend the Annual Business Meeting, and I want to take this opportunity to share with NJCTE members some of what was discussed.

Chadwick addresses NCTE Business Meeting
NCTE President Jocelyn A. Chadwick addresses the Annual Business Meeting

NCTE President Jocelyn Chadwick, who presided over the meeting, informed the group that there will be three new committees focused on major work for the organization. The first will focus on teacher agency:  how do we talk to administrators, deans, the community; how do we tell our story? NCTE hopes this committee will create more tools to help teachers communicate more effectively with different stakeholders about the work that we do. The second committee will focus on convention planning, so that we can think about what works well and what can we do better. This committee will work with Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick to continue improving our annual convention. Finally, the third committee will focus on policy and governance, with an emphasis on state and local needs and the ways in which the national organization can assist affiliates, who in turn can meet the needs of educators in our local communities.

NCTE Business Meeting Agenda

 

Next, NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick reviewed highlights of the year, including the NCTE new vision statement. Kirkpatrick indicated that membership is stabilizing after more than 12 years of decline, but that, while expenses have been reduced, the organization is still relying on financial reserves to balance the budget. Kirkpatrick announced that the Folger Library has signed on as substantial sponsor and financial partner and that the organization intends to forge more connections with publishers to come.

Kirkpatrick also announced the overhaul of The Council Chronicle, which will have an expanded base of writers. The next issue will feature a new piece by Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, who delivered a stirring and challenging keynote address to an audience of more than 400 at NCTE 2017.

Kirkpatrick closed her address with an emphasis on some of the many new initiatives including a new and improved advocacy day, the introduction of lead ambassadors (two members in every section) who have already held local events in five states, a renewed and digitally-focused National Day on Writing – #WhyIWrite, policy engagement, and the new NCTE website.

The next NCTE Annual Convention will be held Nov 15-18 in Houston centered around the theme: Raising student voice starts by raising yours. Convention locations to follow include 2019 – Baltimore; 2020 – Denver; and 2021 – Louisville, KY.

Finally, the Business Meeting concluded with discussion, editing, and final passage of three resolutions. The resolutions are as follows (although please see NCTE for official and final wording):

#1: Resolution on Support of Undocumented Students and Teachers

Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English call for the immediate renewal of the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program in support of the protection of all undocumented K-20 students and teachers, and endorse their rights to remain in the United States.

Be it further resolved that all students have the right to a high quality education, regardless of immigration status.

#2: Resolution on Professional Learning in the Teaching of Writing

Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English recommend ongoing, high quality professional learning in the teaching of writing for all teachers across all disciplines at each grade level, K-20.

Be it further resolved that NCTE actively encourage school districts, colleges, and universities in providing high quality professional learning to give teachers the necessary strategies and curricula to deliver effective writing instruction.

#3 Resolution on Amplifying the Voice of Literacy Leaders

Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English advocate for and support literacy teachers who embrace opportunities to amplify their voices and tell their stories.

Be it further resolved that NCTE urge literacy teachers to share their expertise with other education stakeholders and strive to wield more influence in shaping education policy and reform. As teachers and NCTE members we reaffirm an essential principle of our vision statement: “We must more precisely align this expertise to advance access, power, agency, affiliation, and impact for all learners” (NCTE Vision Statement, May 2017).

Written by Audrey Fisch, Board Member, NJCTE, Professor of English, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ

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

Notes from the NCTE 2017 Annual Convention Business Meeting

What I’m Reading: The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

I’m reading Yvonne S. Thornton’s The Ditchdigger’s Daughters: A Black Family’s Astonishing Success Story. Thornton will be our speaker at New Jersey City University’s Convocation on October 5, so I turned to her story to see how I could use it to prepare my students for the event.

Thornton’s story, written with Jo Coudert, is not the slick or simple tale of uplifting success that the blurbs on the book’s jacket suggest. It may be an inspiring story but it is not adequate to describe it as a “guide to success,” despite the Star Ledger‘s claims. The story of Thornton and her sisters’ journeys from girlhoods in Long Branch, New Jersey to success in medicine (Thornton is a distinguished perinatologist) and in other careers (dentist, educator, nurse, and court stenographer) is uplifting but it is also harrowing. Dangers and obstacles are a constant in Thornton’s journey.

Ditchdigger cover

If there is any key to her success, it is her father’s unvarnished credo: “You’re black and you’re ugly and you’re girls, and the world’s already written you off. You can grow up and be a bag lady. You can be on the streets and the world won’t give a damn whether you live or die. But if you listen to me, we can get out of this” (255). Thornton’s father’s lessons to his daughters about the realities they face are brutal and blunt, even as he pushes them towards success.

I’ve paired an excerpt from Thornton’s text with a recent piece from The Atlantic: “Why the Myth of Meritocracy Hurts Kids of Color,” by Melinda D. Anderson. Anderson explores research that “traditionally marginalized youth who grew up believing in the American ideal that hard work and perseverance naturally lead to success show a decline in self-esteem” (emphasis added) and “implode” when they are hit by “problems they can’t control.” Hard work without an understanding of the myths that undergird our American Dream can not only be insufficient in the face of obstacles, it can be counter-productive and damaging.

I’m eager to hear what my students think about these two pieces and what we will learn from Thornton in her address to us on October 5.

Written and posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE

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

What I’m Reading: The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

NJCTE Wins Affiliate Excellence Award

As Millie Davis explains, the NCTE Affiliate Excellence Award “honors NCTE affiliates that meet high standards of performance for programming and promote improvement in English language arts teaching.” This year, the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English is one of the affiliate winners.

affiliate award

Jean Boreen, chair of the Standing Committee on Affiliates and the Excellence Award committee chair, wrote of the NJCTE affiliate’s work:

Your publications and social media continue to be an exceptionally strong means of communication in keeping members informed and aware; your website is also a strong mechanism for reaching out to your membership. I loved your development of the virtual Hall of Fame; what a wonderful way to highlight great leadership and support of the affiliate. I’m also very impressed with your plans for new members as well as the consistent updating and goal-setting your group is doing; I love the energy that is clearly emanating from the good work you are all putting forward.

We are thrilled to receive this honor. But we aren’t satisfied. We need to continue to grow and improve. We can and will learn from the good work of the other winning affiliates. And we hope to learn more from the teachers of English in New Jersey, as you tell us what you need and want. Let us hear from you!

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
NJCTE Wins Affiliate Excellence Award

Call for submissions

CALL FOR MANUSCRIPTS

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