SCOA Newsletter — December 2016

Information for Affiliate Leaders!
The National Council of Teachers of English The Professional Home of the English Language Arts Community

December 2016

NCTE Standing Committee on Affiliates

New Award Structure for Affiliate Publications: To expand recognition of superior affiliate publications, SCOA decided in its 2016 convention meeting to change the award structure for journals, newsletters, and websites. Instead of choosing only one recipient in each category, in 2017 the coordinators will select multiple qualifying entries to receive awards of excellence. This new method resembles the procedure followed for years with applicants for the Affiliate Excellence Award. The criteria and entry deadline of May 1 remain the same.

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Turning and Turning in a Widening Gyre: Neither rough nor beastial, SCOA reps will turn a few pages in 2017 in keeping with NCTE’s new motto. Three times during the first half of 2017, regional representatives will telephone or video conference with available affiliate leaders in their regions about predetermined topics. Topics such as membership, finances, and mentoring will resemble work at the Affiliate Leadership Meetings in July. SCOA News in January and February will carry more details about what’s coming.

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Affiliate Roundtable Breakfast Follow-up: A crowded breakfast honored more than a dozen affiliates and their individual members. Speakers included NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick and NCTE Vice President Jocelyn Chadwick. Recipients of three Affiliate Intellectual Freedom Awards also urged ongoing action: Sharon Draper (Simon & Schuster), Daniel Reynolds (Mount Diablo Unified School District, Martinez, California), and Janelle Schultz (Gering High School, Gering, Nebraska). A photo gallery of pictures from all eight regions has been created.

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Call for Proposals for Convention 2017 in St. Louis: January 5, 2017, is the deadline for uploading proposals for sessions at the NCTE 2017 Annual Convention in St. Louis: Teaching Our Students Today, Tomorrow, Forever: Recapturing Our Voices, Our Agency, Our Mission. The full CFP appears on the NCTE website. Program Chair Jocelyn Chadwick advises applicants: “All program proposals must be interactive, engaging the audience and providing clear takeaways.” She further suggests, “With the 2017 theme as your GPS, please keep the topic in front of you as you’re writing.

The focus is twofold:

  1. Reclaim our voices, thereby allowing us to ignite and exercise our agency and mission.
  2. With our renewal and resolve, we engage—ready, excited, working.”

NCTE Executive Committee Encourages SCOA and Affiliates: The Executive Committee (EC) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) meets throughout the year to pilot the Council. Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick and the presidential team invited members of the Standing Committee on Affiliates (SCOA) to the November 2016 meeting prior to the Annual Convention. SCOA representatives enjoyed the chance to collaborate. The invitation shows NCTE’s interest in the concerns and contributions of affiliates.

SCOA representatives rotated through three subcommittees at the November meeting: strategic planning for NCTE, professional learning, and policy/advocacy. All three groups of the EC will meet during the first quarter of 2017, each one with three tasks. The chairs will continue to welcome ideas from “all sections, assemblies, conferences, affiliates” of NCTE.

Emily Kirkpatrick and President Susan Houser charged SCOA reps to encourage affiliates in their regions to launch at least one similar initiative locally. The goals of the EC’s three initiatives match the purposes of many affiliates.

Charges for the Professional Learning Subcommittee match membership most closely. Slightly edited, they direct affiliates to (1) determine what products or services NCTE and affiliates may successfully market to ELA educators, (2) identify key opportunities for members to mentor new teachers/members, and (3) suggest/recommend future publishing efforts.

Affiliates might follow NCTE’s lead in strategic planning. To combat continuing budget struggles, boards need to respond to two challenges resembling NCTE’s: identify opportunities for innovation AND identify practices and programs that may need to be discontinued. A relevant discussion question for any affiliate is, which goals should take priority within the next five or ten years?

The EC is developing approaches to involvement in national and local politics as part of its new “Turn the Page” brand. The Policy and Advocacy Subcommittee seeks to “focus on state advocacy work, inclusive of affiliates and state policy analysts.” Some affiliates’ small membership base may prevent large-scale advocacy for ELA issues. They can, however, maintain positive, personal connections with state departments of education.


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NEATE Invitation for Leaflet Editor: The New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE) seeks a Leaflet editor to be responsible for the publication of three or four Leaflets yearly, working with the publications chair and the editorial board. Candidates should have a writing background, a love of good writing, some publication experience, and an interest in becoming involved with NEATE and be a member or willing to be a member of NEATE. The Leaflet has published articles by many prominent authors, including Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, T. S. Eliot, I. A. Richards, Louise M. Rosenblatt, and Donald Murray. It is subscribed to by colleges and is considered to be a prestigious publication. Please submit your letter of interest and your vita by February 1, 2017, to Cathy Nicastro, Executive Secretary, 21 Young Road, Ashburnham, MA 01430.

“You say goodbye, and I say hello”: At the 2016 NCTE Annual Convention, the Standing Committee on Affiliates sang an appreciative goodbye to three regional representatives and serenaded three new members who began their four-year terms. Affiliate board members who worked with an outgoing rep might send thank-yous and memories. The new reps will value introductions from their constituent states.

  • For Region 1, Meredith Potter (New Hampshire) handed the baton to Larry Butti (Queens).
  • For Region 4, Kathy Nelson (Wisconsin) tossed the torch to Cheryl Simonds (Illinois).
  • For Region 6, Carol Revelle (Texas) showed the secret handshake to Amy Rasmussen (Texas).

Check out the conversation on Twitter at #ncteaffiliate


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: Laurence Butti
Region 2: Margaret Ford
Region 3: Julie Rucker
Region 4: Cheryl Simonds
Region 5: Dixie Keyes
Region 6: Amy Rasmussen
Region 7: Curtis Bobbitt
Region 8: Stacey Takanishi
Chair: Jean Boreen

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

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