January 2015

SCOA Newsletter — January 2015

The Professional Home of the English Language Arts Community


January 2015 NCTE Standing Committee on Affiliates

Summer Leadership Meeting July 10-12, 2015

The February newsletter will provide details about the location of themeeting. Regions 1, 3, 7, and 8 can take advantage of NCTE’s cost-sharing plan for up to four representatives to attend this year’s meeting.
Seephotographs and notes from the 2014 leadership meeting in Minneapolis. Ask your regional SCOA representative for more information.

NCTE Resources

As your boards plan events, projects, and meetings for 2015, remember the many resources NCTE offers to affiliates.

• Conference Planning: This updated page contains links to the cosponsored speaker list, a video with advice for all parts of the planning, and directions for ordering an Affiliate Exhibit Kit.

• Affiliate Lending Library: Use the form to request one-month loans of print-only newsletters, samples of notebooks for board members, and winning entries from award programs can catalyze improvements.

Featured Affiliate

The British Columbia Teachers of English Language Arts (BCTELA) became an NCTE affiliate in 1959. The provincial specialist association’s “mandate is to provide support for our members in their practice and professional development” (BCTELA website). BCTELA participates actively in region 7, including hosting and co-sponsoring regional conferences.

The journal, English Practice, is available online. The peer-reviewed journal covers “all facets of language arts learning, teaching, and research focusing on the intermediate, middle, and secondary grades (4-12).” One of the articles in the Fall 2014 issue, “Prove them Wrong: Why Aboriginal Content Matters,” by Sara Davidson, directly relates to the first resolution approved at the NCTE business meeting in Washington, DC.

The association also publishes periodic newsletters on its site.

Voices Visible is an annual anthology of writing from BCTELA’s annual writing contest. The works are not available online, but the site does list the names and schools of the winners.

Susan McLean, president of BCTELA, compiled advice for organizing and running board retreats. The following encouraging excerpts offer some ideas. See the full article for more information.

“Having a yearly retreat has a strong effect on the community of our executive board. In the first place, it feels like a little perk for all of the countless hours we collectively put in on a volunteer basis. Besides that, it also helps to build stronger working and personal relationships amongst our members, and invigorates us all. It is, moreover, a wonderful time to try and recruit new members. It’s a lot nicer to be able to invite potential members away for a weekend in Whistler, than to ask them to simply attend one of our meetings, which can be a bit dry and confusing to an outsider.

We have managed to keep the costs down by staying at the hostel owned by Hostelling International … As well, we go in a low season – the end of May, which is when the skiing is generally done, and before the summer activities really start. We share accommodations, and often bring some of our own food. For example, we usually bring breakfast foods and cook together before our Saturday meeting. We also rent the meeting room at the hostel, and have them provide our lunch. Their costs for both food and accommodations are very reasonable – much cheaper than the hotel rooms we need to rent in Vancouver, and the restaurants we usually go to for lunch.”

News from Regions

Region 8: Do You Know the Way to San Jose? The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) will hold its annual convention, Uncommon Connections, in San
Jose February 20-22, 2016. Connecting with us, as always, will be the California Writing Project (CWP), who will host preconvention on Thursday, February 19. We would love to have English teachers from all states come and join us. Wouldn’t some of you just love to get out of the snow and into the California sunshine?

What will you find when you get to CATE? “Fame and fortune
is a magnet/It can pull you far away from home.” Our new
super-sessions will be led by Carol Jago and Jim Burke.
Luncheons will feature authors Cristina Garcia and Jamie
Ford, and at our very different dinner events, you will enjoy
comedian Marga Gomez and best-selling author Lisa See.
CATE’s workshops are all classroom-centered and full of the latest ideas and activities for connecting to the Common Core. In our intimate exhibit hall, you will have time to learn from some of the best companies…and some of the best people…who are doing their best to support us with their latest products, both digital and in print. You will even have a chance to turn corporate leftovers into classroom projects. There is no better way to spend a weekend than in San Jose with over 500 energetic, inventive teachers. For more information, please go

to www.cateweb.org.

Region 4: To follow up the ideas, stories, and values from the 2014 Leadership Meeting, affiliate leaders will be connecting after the first of the year to determine how they might assist the Minnesota affiliate in preparations for hosting next fall’s NCTE Convention. Please email Region 4 SCOA Representative, Kathy Nelson at [email protected] to be included in the discussion.

Region 6: We would like to share the special 50th anniversary celebration at the TCTELA conference in Houston, Texas, on January 23-25. There’s some nice art on the website. Here’s

the direct link to the conference page.

Quotations about Knowledge and Knowing

“That is the beginning of knowledge–the discovery of something we do not understand” (Frank Herbert, God Emperor of Dune)

“Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious” (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary)

“We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine” (H. L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy)

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it” (Samuel Johnson, fromLife of Johnson)

“Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination” (Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy)

“A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierianspring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again” (Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Criticism”)

“Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle (Woody Allen, unknown source)

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: Debbie Thomas Region 3: Steve Hubbard Region 4: Kathy Nelson Region 5: Dixie Keyes Region 6: Carol Revelle Region 7: Curt Bobbitt Region 8: Nancy HImel Chair: Jean Boreen

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

NCTE: Shaping Literacy for Tomorrow . . . Today

Questions, Comments, Suggestions? Email us at [email protected] Copyright ©2015 National Council of Teachers of English
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