Iowa Council of Teachers of English

Masked Up & Teaching

Kaitlyn Pietan, Teacher Writer
February 21, 2021

We are almost at a year worth of social distancing. A year worth of masks. A year of learning missed for some students. A year worth of development going uncharted. I have to say, I disagree vehemently with people who say things like “they are not behind; they are surviving a pandemic.” When are kids going to learn the skills? Teachers are already crunched for time as it is, time to meet all the...

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Teaching in 2020-2021; Driving in a Snow Storm

Karl Baresel, Teacher Writer
February 4, 2021

Waves of white cover the yellow lines. Where is the left-turn lane? How close can I get to that other car? Why is that car going so fast? And why are their headlights not on? Will I be able to stop if this streetlight turns yellow? What do I do if my tires spin through the intersection. What if I get stuck? What can I do?  I am not sure about others, but I know that when I am brushing off my car,...

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Words for 2021

January 23, 2021


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The Teachers Who Framed Me

Britt Jungck, Teacher Writer
December 6, 2020

My influences as an educator remind me of the 1995 movie How To Make An American Quilt, personal details, stitched together to create something unique that lives on to work with new students, in new towns, creating new dreams. When I plan my lessons and grade my papers, I channel my high school AP English teacher, Linda Kaufman.  Her precision and rigor still echo in my head 20+ years later and...

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Vocabulary Switch

Rex Muston, Teacher Writer
November 18, 2020

1. Allen, my partner, is a burden. He is not working very hard. 2. Cameron had culpability because he failed at picking a good partner. 3. Allen felt remorse for his fallen comrade, Cameron Doyle. 4. Cameron entrusted Allen with the responsibility of working with him, but alas, it was a bad idea. 5. Cameron was empathic for Allen, because he doesn't have a good work ethic. 6....

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Out of Darkness

Britt Jungck, Teacher Writer
November 1, 2020

Sometimes life is sunny, radiating warmth like the smell of fresh-cut grass on a summer day.  Sometimes life leaks struggles in an endless stream like a toddler playing with a squeaky balloon. 2020 has been a squeaky balloon. Now, it is misshapen and saggy and barely holding it together, and I have to squint to realize it is, indeed, still there. We knew we’d move this year.  We had a dream...

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