September 2015 SCOA News

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


September 2015

NCTE Standing Committee on Affiliates


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Susan Houser
Shanna Peeples

Affiliate Breakfast Invitation: Calling all affiliate officers and board members. While completing your NCTE convention registration, remember to reserve your spot at this year’s Affiliate Breakfast. Meet and hear from NCTE Vice President Susan Houser and NCTE member, staunch supporter, and National Teacher of the Year, Shanna Peeples. Connect with and learn from your peers from other affiliates. And there’ll be photo ops with your awards. We SCOA representativeslook forward to seeing you there!

The National Day on Writing Approaches: Join NCTE, the National Writing Project, The New York Times Learning Network, and The Teaching Channel in celebrating writing and thinking about why you do it.  Participate in the Tweet-Up on October 20 using the #WhyIWrite hashtag and include visual representations in photos, film, and graphics.

“Tell me why you write, and why you sound like James Agee.
Tell me why you write, and give your poems away for free.”
                          –John Lennonesque

Connected Educator Month: Most public conversation around assessment tends to focus on state testing and its use for evaluating teachers and schools. How might we shift the conversation toward a more holistic and well-rounded understanding of how we can know what kids know and can do? Under an umbrella that encompasses the wide assessment types and purposes, the National Council of Teachers of English is leading the theme Innovations in Assessment for Connected Educator Month 2015 in October. We are looking for a community of contributors who can help us to explore our topic.  Interested? Here’s your Invitation to Participate: Innovations in Assessment.

Innovations from Kansas and Iowa? Absolutely! “Kick-Starting Innovation,” a post by Millie Davis on the NCTE blog, summarized two affiliates’ ways to help teachers collaborate.

    • UnConference with the Kansas Association of Teachers of English—30 teachers gathered in July to discuss topics that concerned them at the moment.  The KATE Twitter site recorded on-site reflections from participants. Bryan Anderson of Washburn Rural High School wrote a reflection for the KATE Update with photographs of some of the resulting notes.
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  • Eng-Camps in four Iowa cities—At each site, participating teachers chose their topics, formed groups, and exchanged ideas. Millie summarized, “The Cedar Rapids site worked in one session on digital writing, blogging, and independent writing; in another on common assessments, socially just classrooms, differentiation, and gamification; and ended the day with positivity, staying stress free, and handling the paper load.”

Register for NCTE Annual Convention: Give in to the temptation to register for and attend the NCTE 2015 Annual Convention in Minneapolis, November 19-22. “The Arts of Language,” part of the Convention’s title, describes the wide range of featured speakers, including Alison Bechdel (graphic memoir), Taylor Mali (poetry and performance), Chelsea Clinton (philanthropist), Peter Sís (illustrator and author), and Chris Crutcher (YA fiction writer).

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Profile of Texas Council of Teachers of English (Affiliate Excellence Award 2014): The board maintains a vibrant website with multiple links for a panoply of ideas and resources.

    • Membership Alternatives—TCTELA annual memberships range in cost from free to $50. The free memberships allow the board to communicate with educators around the world who sign up for Web access, including the quarterly newsletter, Texas Voices. Memberships for students, parents, retired educators, professionals, and supporting members provide additional publications, participation, and discounts.
    • Strategic Plan—In only three pages, TCTELA identifies its core values and three goals with more specific objectives for a five-year span (until 2018). Its tiered membership program directly supports its first goal: “TCTELA will strengthen its standing in the field of education as a key professional organization….” Goal 3 is perhaps the most ambitious: “TCTELA will offer research-based professional development for every ELA professional throughout the state.” As one of the objectives, TCTELA plans to “Launch and foster a grass roots project to encourage teachers as writers.”
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  • Archived Conferences—Programs and handouts from key sessions from the previous five annual conferences appear as links from the website. These archives include documents such as state curriculum updates. The electronic program for the 2015 conference includes profiles of registered educators who chose to complete the template.
  • Indexes of Resources—Separate directories for advocacy, literacy resources, and teacher resources describe and link directly to legislative updates, programs, and summer programs for teachers.
The NCTE 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: Curtis Bobbitt
Region 8: Nancy Himel

Chair: Jean Boreen

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

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