Iowa Council of Teachers of English

Meltdown in Aisle Three

Barb Edler, Teacher Writer
May 22, 2020

In Aisle Three At  Hy-Vee I have a meltdown Shelves literally wiped clean No juice, no milk, no sardines There’s barely any meat Except where the butchers work I ask about an advertised sale on New York strips I thought they had They do, they’re just not marked I ask for four The butcher looks relieved Which makes sense later when I discover from a friend...

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Teacher Appreciation Week: I See You

Nikki Smith, Teacher Writer
May 9, 2020

I see you. I see you worrying about if your students' basic needs are met.  I see you creating brand new lessons and resources overnight to help students understand the curriculum.  I see you calling and emailing students and parents to make connections, check-in.  I see you adapting to the ever-changing policies enacted at the local, state, and national levels.  I see you learning...

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Tracy Tensen, Teacher Writer
May 3, 2020

With a shake of the head she says neither of us should be there. Then we hear the world take a breath. We answer with one of our own.  One of our potentially toxic breaths. And we accidentally touch our eyes and forget not to rub our noses. Should I have touched the handle of the cart? My purse was on the counter. Snakes hiss as we leave with our nonessentials. It’s a...

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The Late March Evening

Rex Muston, Teacher Writer
April 23, 2020

The Late March Evening   The man he plays is pensive, regretting the grays of reflection in the bathroom mirror.   The man he plays is penitent, moving slowly today, aching in joints from drink that made him wobble.   The man he plays is charged, driven by Doug and Lou, and the spirit  of the trickster coyote.   The man he plays knows love, and...

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The Oasis

Brenna Griffin, Teacher Writer
April 16, 2020

“The desert is dry and hot,” the woman in the suit proclaims at the front of the library. It is my first year of teaching at Callanan Middle School. I am all wide eyes and optimism; plus, my self-selected mentor teacher has helped me set the expectation that I can always take away one good thing from any professional development experience. I am at the point in my career when the learning is coming...

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Teresa Lawler, Teacher Writer
March 24, 2020

Marie Kondo has people around the world cleaning out closets and emptying bookshelves. As part of the purging process, cleaners ask themselves, “Does this item bring me joy?” I learned nearly fifty years ago about the ramifications for the giver and receiver when an item fails to meet this standard. Mom lands a job as a Head Start assistant. It doesn’t pay as well as being an aide at the hospital...

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