March/April 2016 SCOA News


March/April 2016

NCTE Standing Committee on Affiliates

Issue Cover Art

2016 NCTE Education Policy Platform: Each year since 2006, NCTE has published its guidelines for education policy. Previously titled “Legislative Platform” and “Government Policy Platform,” this document guides advocates for changes at the building, district, state, and national levels.
Sections of this platform define and illustrate “Equitable Access to Learning,” “Assessment and Accountability that Open Life Pathways,” and “Valuing Teacher Expertise.”  The wording from each section can help affiliates work toward improvement for their members and the students they serve. One reminder, for example, echoes the mission of many affiliates: “Regardless of neighborhood, family circumstance, or personal situation, all students have a right to fully qualified teachers and to classrooms and curricula that enrich their lives and provide a foundation for growth as productive citizens.” Voicing teachers’ central role, the platform insists, “Because conditions for teaching directly affect conditions for learning, all teachers require appropriate time, resources, and compensation to design and offer thoughtful instruction.”

Applications for Most Affiliate Awards Due May 1: SCOA has updated the submission directions and forms for affiliate awards.

Applications for Affiliate Excellence and Student Affiliate Excellence Awards are due July 15.

Issue Cover Art

Nominate an Outstanding High School Educator: NCTE affiliates are invited to nominate an outstanding high school classroom teacher for this national award. Each NCTE affiliate may select one person for this honor with the criterion being up to the affiliates’ discretion. Each recipient will be celebrated and recognized at the Secondary Section Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention in Atlanta. The award deadline is May 1.

Issue Cover Art

Affiliate Leadership Meeting July 8-10: Leaders from regions 2, 4, 5, and 6 should plan to attend this year’s annual leadership (with NCTE’s cost-share). St. Louis is the site of this year’s meeting. See the details on the NCTE website.

Issue Cover Art

Minnesota’s Workshop-a-Go-Go as a Bargain Conference: MCTE President Sherri Larson reports on a spring initiative for the state’s ELA teachers. “A few years ago, I had a vision to put together a one-day, cost-efficient workshop for ELA Teacher that would take place smack dab in the middle of Minnesota. So, I began snooping around for a place to have a gathering that would be easier for teachers in my part of the state to travel.  Okay, I didn’t snoop much:  I had my eye on the old Glenwood High School, with its–literally–old school charm. [For a workshop on April 27, we negotiated] $35 per teacher or $100 for three people from the same school or organization.”

Issue Cover Art

Networking with IATE in Decatur, Illinois: (by Kathy Nelson, Region 4 representative to SCOA) Jennifer Hudson and Decatur MacArthur High School hosted The March 5th Illinois affiliate’s spring conference and Jeri Callaway’s “Literacy for Hope” keynote, a Freedom Writers’ approach to bringing relevance especially to at-risk learners, kicking off the day. Participants faced difficult decisions choosing among a diverse collection of sessions: Two 90-minute-breakout periods and two 50-minute ones with a baked potato and chili bar lunch breaking up the day.

The IATE Board met over lunch and continued through the afternoon.  Kudos go to IATE on a great way for teachers to accrue not only practical applications they could use in their classrooms but also a chance for them to earn state credit for licensing. Their board deserves recognition for such a high percentage of board member turning out for their meeting.

Issue Cover Art

Travelogue—NCTE Headquarters: (by Kathy Nelson, Region 4 representative to SCOA) On my way to attend the IATE, the Illinois affiliate’s spring conference in Decatur, Illinois, Millie Davis welcomed me and gave me a tour of our NCTE’s home in Urbana. Easy to find right off the highway, the headquarters houses the majority of its staff and I got to see where the work is done—everything from the large conference room to the outdoor picnic table.  Not quite as modern as The Office setting, the interior has many 80s-style cubicles with offices around the outside walls.

Issue Cover Art

That being said, the place does exude stately charm.  Ruby Huffman’s warm smile greets visitors in the reception area, and the brick “walls of leaders” doubles as a “who’s who” with portraits of both the current NCTE board members and past executive directors (note that the photo could only capture a few). Also impressive is the shipping/receiving warehouse that Dave Summers oversees, containing shelf after shelf of their inventory of books.

The Standing Committee on Affiliates sends this monthly newsletter to leaders of NCTE affiliates. The representatives of the eight regions welcome content for and comments about previous and forthcoming issues.

Region 1: Meredith Potter
Region 2: Margaret Ford
Region 3: Julie Rucker
Region 4: Kathy Nelson
Region 5: Dixie Keyes
Region 6: Carol Revelle
Region 7: Curtis Bobbitt
Region 8: TBD
Chair: Jean Boreen

The SCOA Newsletter is a member of NCTE’s Information Exchange.