NCTE Historian Speech by NJCTE Board Member Joseph Pizzo

We at NCTE are people. People who form a Village through outreach, conferences, our website, and social media to discuss issues and challenges every day. Some issues are relatively new while others pose historically similar challenges. We are stories of teaching. We are resources, communities, and groups.

“NCTE amplifies the voice of educators through personal connection, collaboration, and a shared mission to improve the teaching and learning of English and language arts at all levels.” We continue to pursue this mission with serious commitment, undaunted determination, and a bit of creativity that combine to analyze problems and challenges, generate alternatives and solutions, and discover practical procedures to address these problems.  

Literacy continues to be an issue facing us educators at all levels of instruction and across all curricula. To the challenge to increase the frequency of and fluency when  reading, we add digital literacy challenged by a siren’s song broadcast on social media, online games, and streaming. Falling reading scores and the lack of preparation of students entering high school and college fails to consider the impact of some other powerful siren’s songs. Low status is given to reading in many modern households as daily activity schedules fill much of the time that was spent in the past for family reading and homework completion and review. Add poverty to this mix, and the recipe creates a daunting challenge requiring the commitment of all members of society, not simply the schools and NCTE. 

The issues of writing continue to be a challenge as social media outlets featuring acronyms such as “LOL,” “OMG,” and “IMHO” have placed style over substance and actual conversation. For those of us who in our youth never used the word “texting” as a gerund, “IMHO” means “In My Humble Opinion.” Texting is an effective way to communicate, but it must not replace actual conversation. “IMHO.” 

Issues of diversity continue to challenge us daily both at NCTE and throughout the nation. The emergence of LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual or Ally) poses problems of acceptance. These challenges are not dissimilar to the ones NCTE has faced courageously in the past when dealing with issues of prejudice according to nationality and gender. Some of these issues that led to racially-biased book banning in the past not only continue, but they also contain bans placed on literature that provides a voice to the LGBTQIA community. NCTE believes that tolerance is insufficient. Rather, acceptance must be mandated without exception.

William Faulkner states: “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asserts, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” For us at NCTE, silence “about things that matter” has never been an option.   

Moving forward, NCTE continues to revise its official positions in areas including advocacy, equity, and pedagogy. In the coming year, I hope to create a podcast to chat with our Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick and another to gain perspective on the challenges historically faced by our former NCTE Presidents. As our history proves, our commitment to amplifying “the voice of educators through personal connection, collaboration, and a shared mission to improve the teaching and learning of English and language arts at all levels,” will not be compromised in any way – ever. 

As we learn from the past and move into the future, we shall continue to serve as advocates for excellence while maintaining our commitment to improving “the teaching and learning of English and language arts at all levels.”

NCTE Historian Speech by NJCTE Board Member Joseph Pizzo

Notes from NCTE Business Meeting

printprogramcover-235x300by Audrey Fisch

As part of my responsibilities as President of the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, I attended NCTE in Baltimore, and the Annual Business Meeting of NCTE on Friday evening of the convention. Below, find some of my notes from the meeting, which I offer in the hope of keeping NJCTE members informed about NCTE.

Our own NJCTE Board Member Joe Pizzo, NCTE Historian, offered a moment in NCTE history, a signature feature of the NCTE Annual Business Meeting. We hope to publish his comments shortly on the NJCTE blog.

President’s Report, Franki Sibberson

  • 5 revised policy statements, 5 sunsetted
  • 2 new task forces to study mentoring and the convention
  • 2 new leadership awards – people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ award
  • Advocacy and Leadership Event in DC – 22 travel awards offered by NCTE to participants
  • The 2020 convention will feature scholarships – folks can donate
  • Funding from NCTE this year paid for placards highlighting LGBTQ+ and anti-racist statements posted throughout the convention center
  • Funding will continue for at least another two years for the early career educator of color leadership award

Emily Kirkpatrick, Executive Director Report

  • First year of positive membership growth in 18 years
  • 9% growth in books program revenue
  • Financial audit – highest possible ranking
  • Convention – 3163 presenters, 8600 attendance, 86% K-12, 48% first-time (overall high-water mark)
  • Increase in proposal submissions
  • NCTE Reads – 2019: 805 participants, summer book study, Workshopping the Canon
  • Summer Institute – Continuing the Journey, attendance grew by 21%, veteran and mid-career teacher focus
  • TYCA first national convention – 327 attendees
  • Leadership and advocacy – record attendance, meetings with legislative offices, keynote Laura Wides-Munoz
  • James Squire Center – policy research moving to Notre Dame under Ernest Morrell
  • Registration now open for the 2020 Leadership and Advocacy Summit – April 6-7, 2020
  • Partnerships with Library of Congress – releasing artifacts from Walt Whitman collection, largest attendance for any LOC event for educators
  • Teaching with primary sources, grant-funded $273,442
  • Affiliate leadership meeting Summer 2019 – 31 states (NJCTE was there!)
  • 2020 affiliate leadership meeting – July 17-19, Omaha, NE, to recognize affiliates in rural states and west of the Mississippi (NJCTE hopes to be there!)
  • 2019-2020 new ambassadors – 2-year term, elementary to community college
  • Webinar on Little Women
  • Partnered with Nimbus, a multicultural agency, worked on 2019 National Day of Writing, design for 2020 convention
  • Emily Kirkpatrick – attended Harvard Kennedy School program on leading diverse organizations

NCTE Convention 2020 – Nov 19-22, Denver, CO, Theme: ¡Confluencia! Songs of Ourselves. Call for proposals now open. Submit at convention.ncte.org by January 15, 2020.

And congratulations to the NJCTE Board and membership on recognition by NCTE for four 2019 affiliate awards: 2019 Website of Excellence Award, 2019 Newsletter of Excellence Award, 2019 Kent D. Williamson Affiliate Membership Award, 2019 Affiliate of Excellence Award!

Thanks also to Michelle Haiken (@teachingfactor) for hosting NJCTE for our second annual NCTE/NJCTE Convention Breakfast. We enjoyed yummy treats at the Bun Shop in Baltimore. And we were particularly grateful to see our own NJDOE representative, Erika Leak, at the meetup as well as NJCTE Spring 2020 Conference co-chair, Valerie Mattessich.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone enjoys a few days of family, food, and reading over the Thanksgiving break.

Notes from NCTE Business Meeting

Where to Find NJCTE at NCTE!

printprogramcover-235x300If you are traveling to Baltimore for the NCTE and/or CEL conventions, you can find NJCTE members at the following sessions — and see below for details about an informal early morning coffee meet-up for all NJCTE members! (If you’re an NJCTE member who is presenting at NCTE, and your session is not already listed here, please add the details in the comments below!) The NCTE 2019 Convention program is available online.

Thursday, November 21

  • (A.40) Stories from the Sticks: Reversing Nature Deficit Disorder and Raising Environmentalists via Literary Inquiry into the Natural World — 9:30-10:45 AM, Room 339

Panel discussion featuring NJCTE board member Sarah Mulhern Gross, with authors Maria Gianferrari, Carole Lindstrom, Ishta Mercurio, Liz Garton Scanlon, and Kao Kalia Yang

  • (B.36) Media as Mentor: 25 Ways Journalism Can Inspire Student Writing and Inquiry Projects — 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM, Room 346

Panel discussion featuring NJCTE board member Sarah Mulhern Gross, with Rebeka O’Dell, Katherine Schulten, and Brett Vogelsinger

  • (C.01) Cultures of Reading — 1:00-2:15 PM, Ballrooms I & III

Roundtable discussion featuring NJCTE board member Oona Marie Abrams and many other educators and authors

Friday, November 22

  • First-Timers’ Welcome — 7:00-7:45 AM, Ballrooms I & III

If this will be your first time attending the NCTE convention, please join NJCTE board members Jennifer Ansbach, Oona Marie Abrams, Joseph Pizzo, and other welcoming people for breakfast!

  • (H.09) Nuts & Bolts for New ELA Teachers — Roundtable Session (ELATE Strand) — 2:00-3:15 PM, Room 308

Presenters: NJCTE board member Joseph Pizzo (“Flattening Out the Hills: Academic, Social, and Personal Challenges for Early Career ELA Teachers”), as well as David E. Kirkland, Ken Lindblom, Lisa Fink, Jennifer Ochoa, Tracey Flores, Dave Stuart, Jr., and others

  • (HI.01) High School Matters: #DisruptTexts — 2:00-4:45 PM, Ballroom I

NJCTE board member Sarah Mulhern Gross will be leading one of the roundtable discussions.

  • (I.20) The Landscape of Escape: Interdisciplinary Inquiry with Sci-Fi & Fantasy — 3:30-4:45 PM, Room 319

Panel discussion featuring NJCTE board member Oona Marie Abrams

  • (I.33) Using Informational Texts to Spark Inspired Inquiry in Students and Teachers — 3:30-4:45 PM, Room 332

Presentation by NJCTE President Audrey Fisch and NJCTE board member Susan Chenelle

Saturday, November 23

  • NJCTE Member Coffee Meet-Up — 7:00-8:00 AM, The Bun Shop, 239 W. Read Street

Join NJCTE President Audrey Fisch, board member Susan Chenelle, and others for an informal meet-up with coffee and sweets!

  • ALAN Breakfast — 7:00-9:15 AM, Ballrooms I & III

Join NJCTE board member Jennifer Ansbach, who will present new board members and the ALAN president-elect.

  • (J.08) Inquiring Minds Need to Know: 10 Middle Grade and YA Books to Inspire Inquiry Around “Contentious” Issues — 8:00-9:15 AM, Room 307

Panel discussion featuring NJCTE board member Sarah Mulhern Gross, with Mollie Gross Noel and authors Samira Ahmed, Nancy Castaldo, I.W. Gregorio, Angie Manfredi, Michelle Roehm McCann, Nicole Melleby, Karyn Parsons, Ruta Septys, Amy Spalding, and Alicia D. Williams

  • (L.10) Teachers as Writers: Nurturing the Wanderings and Wonderings — 12:30-1:45 PM, Room 310

Panel discussion featuring NJCTE board member Oona Marie Abrams

Sunday, November 24

  • (O.08) Wondering and Wandering: Biography Picture Books for Curious Readers and Writers — 9:00-10:15 AM, Room 308

Panel discussion featuring NJCTE board member Oona Marie Abrams

 

 

 

Where to Find NJCTE at NCTE!

NJCTE Wins NCTE Affiliate Membership and Website Excellence Awards

The New Jersey Council of Teachers of English has been named one of eighteen recipients of the 2019 Kent D. Williamson Affiliate Membership Recruitment Award given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Established in 1987, this award recognizes NCTE affiliates that have increased their memberships over the past year. Awards are calculated as a percentage of increase based on membership lists submitted by the affiliates in both the year of and the year prior to the award.

The New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, https://www.njcte.org/, edited by Sarah Gross, High Technology High School, has also been named as a recipient of the 2019 NCTE Affiliate Website of Excellence Award, given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Established in 2000, this award recognizes outstanding websites with high-quality content, easy navigation, size, speed, privacy, links, and interactive abilities (message boards, live chats, forums, blogs, mailing lists, etc.).

The winners for both awards will be announced at the 2019 NCTE Annual Convention in Baltimore, during the Affiliate Roundtable Breakfast on Sunday, November 24.


Attention NJ ELA teachers: Would you like to write for the NJCTE blog? We would be happy to publish your ideas and insights about your practice or resources you’ve had success with, etc. We welcome original pieces or those that have been posted elsewhere. Please send queries and contributions to njcteblog@gmail.com.

NJCTE Wins NCTE Affiliate Membership and Website Excellence Awards

NJCTE Honored with 2019 NCTE Affiliate Newsletter of Excellence Award

newsletter of excellenceNJCTE News, co-edited by Audrey Fisch, New Jersey City University and Susan Chenelle of University Academy Charter High School, published by the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, has been named as a recipient of the 2019 NCTE Affiliate Newsletter of Excellence Award, given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Established in 1992, this award recognizes outstanding newsletters of affiliates of NCTE that have published a minimum of three newsletters from May 2018 through the program deadline on May 1, 2019.

Newsletter submissions are judged on: content (particularly the inclusion of current, pertinent information with a good balance between theory, practice, and professional growth information), quality of writing, a clear and accurately defined purpose for the publication, a format which aids the reader in locating information and is easy to read, and the use of graphics to aid the overall effectiveness of the newsletter.

The award winners will be announced at the 2019 NCTE Annual Convention in Baltimore, during the Affiliate Roundtable Breakfast on Sunday, November 24.


Attention NJ ELA teachers: Would you like to write for the NJCTE blog? We would be happy to publish your ideas and insights about your practice or resources you’ve had success with, etc. We welcome original pieces or those that have been posted elsewhere. Please send queries and contributions to njcteblog@gmail.com.

NJCTE Honored with 2019 NCTE Affiliate Newsletter of Excellence Award

Congratulations to Teacher for the Dream Award Winner George Salazar

Please join NJCTE in congratulating George Salazar, one of two winners of this year’s NJCTE Teacher for the Dream Award.

George is a British English speaker navigating the complex landscape of American English education. Born and raised abroad, his experiences have made him acutely aware of myriad philosophies to the teaching of literacy and literature, and how students—especially students of color—are empowered or marginalized by them. When he’s not fighting the spell-checker over the spelling of his words, he loves to write about the literary canon, technology in the classroom, and trends in education policy. Outside of teaching, George is a professional calligrapher, displaying his love for words by marrying both their form and function so others may also fall in love at first write.

As a recipient of the Teacher for the Dream Award, George is honored to join NJCTE’s community of dedicated and inspiring professionals. He is excited by the opportunities granted to share his insights, research, and best practices in local, state, and national conversations being held about teaching, especially in English Language Arts. He believes the perspectives and insights of people of color are necessary to our critical examinations of our content and practices. And with the platform provided by this award, George advocates for more people of color to become educators, so students see themselves represented in our profession, and see their experiences acknowledged, respected, and celebrated in what we do as English teachers.


Attention NJ ELA teachers: Would you like to write for the NJCTE blog? We would be happy to publish your ideas and insights about your practice or resources you’ve had success with, etc. We welcome original pieces or those that have been posted elsewhere. Please send queries and contributions to njcteblog@gmail.com.

 

Congratulations to Teacher for the Dream Award Winner George Salazar

NCTE Coffee Meetup for NJCTE Members and Friends – Saturday, Nov 17 @ 7am

Are you attending NCTE in Houston? Some of us are too!

Grab some coffee and join us on Saturday, November 17, bright and early at 7am. Connect with your NJCTE friends with an early morning convention conversation. We’ll meet at the Starbucks in the lobby of the Hilton, directly across from the convention center.

NJCTE board members will also be attending the affiliate breakfast on Sunday, November 18, and the secondary luncheon on Saturday, November 17. We’re excited that NJCTE board member and NJCTE 2017 Educator of the Year winner Susan Chenelle will be honored at the latter as one of the winners of the NCTE 2018 High School Teacher of Excellence Award.

We hope we see you in Houston! See below for details about sessions involving NJCTE members. The NCTE 2018 Convention program is available online.

Thursday, November 15

  • (B.06) Literacy Leadership — Thursday, November 15, 2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m., 352 A

Panel presentation featuring NJCTE board member Oona Marie Abrams.

Friday, November 16

  • (C.32) Finding Their STEMinist Voice: How Informational Texts Can Inspire Girls — Friday, November 16, 9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m., 372 C

Panel presentation chaired by NJCTE board member Sarah Mulhern Gross.

  • (D. 16) Teaching Climate Change in English — Friday, November 16, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m., 340AB

Roundtable session featuring NJCTE board member Patricia L. Hans.

  • (D.53) GatsbyA Raisin in the Sun, and Inequality Today: Nurturing Student Voices About Equity and Justice — Friday, November 16, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m., 330A

Workshop presented by NJCTE president Audrey Fisch and board member Susan Chenelle.

  • (G.17) Empowering Teachers, Empowering Learners: Technology and Transformation — Friday, November 16, 3:30-4:45 p.m., 372DE

Panel discussion featuring NJCTE board member Joseph Pizzo.

  • (G.44) Creating a Climate of Social and Environmental Justice in the English Classroom — Friday, November 16, 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m., 350 E

Panel presentation featuring NJCTE board member Sarah Mulhern Gross.

Saturday, November 17

  • (H.37) Reclaiming Conversations: Avoidance, Engagement, Advocacy in ELA Discourse Communities — Saturday, November 17, 8:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m., Grand Ballroom C

Roundtable discussion featuring NJCTE board member Oona Marie Abrams, along with Tricia Ebarvia of #DisruptTexts and many other educators.

  • (I.43) Exposing the Truth: Empowering Students to Thrive and Advocate for Themselves Through Journalism and Public Writing — Saturday, November 17, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m., 330B

Panel session featuring NJCTE board member Patricia L. Hans.

  • Secondary Luncheon — Saturday, November 17, 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

NJCTE board member Susan Chenelle will be honored as New Jersey’s recipient of the 2018 High School Teacher of Excellence Award.

  • (K.26) Choice and Challenge: Designing and Implementing Successful Literature Circle Experiences for High School Upperclassmen — Saturday, November 17, 2:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m., 330 B

Panel discussion featuring NJCTE board members Oona Marie Abrams and Sarah Mulhern Gross, along with YA authors A.S. King, Brendan Kiely, Nic Stone, and Gae Polisner.

  • (L.02) Literacy Instruction Worth Fighting For: What Do We Advocate and Why — Saturday, November 17, 4:15 p.m.–5:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom A

NJCTE board member Oona Marie Abrams will serve as a roundtable leader along with NJCTE member Emily Meixner.

CEL — Sunday, November 18

This year’s Conference on English Leadership is chaired by NJCTE board member Kate Baker.

  • (B.2) Melding Tradition and Innovation in the 21st–Century Literacy Classroom — Sunday, November 18, 5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., 320B

Session presented by NJCTE president Audrey Fisch and board member Susan Chenelle.

Monday, November 19

  • (I.2) Tapping Local Talent — Monday, November 19, during opening session 8:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m.

Five-minute Ignite! session led by NJCTE board member Oona Marie Abrams.

  • (F.5) Tech Tool Showcase — Monday, November 19, 3:30 p.m.-4 p.m.

Session presented by CEL convention chair and NJCTE board member Kate Baker.

NCTE Coffee Meetup for NJCTE Members and Friends – Saturday, Nov 17 @ 7am