Iowa Council of Teachers of English


Kim Van Es, Teacher Writer
June 30, 2020

A Teacher’s Encounters with Difference   For teachers just like everyone else, there is a process to getting woke, especially when it comes to understanding the role of skin color in America.   Clip 1: Growing up in a NW Iowa county that was 97% white, my perceptions of people of color came mostly from mission slides at church. People with darker skin were generally poor, from...

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Mr. K

Lauren Stephens, Teacher Writer
June 11, 2020

Mr. K The morning after your funeral, I walked past your classroom and stood in the doorway to take in how much of you filled every corner. Photos of your wife your infant daughter Cubs memorabilia Lambeau souvenirs fantasy brackets still pinned to a bulletin board Five years worth of student projects collected dust in the quiet Saturday sun. Less...

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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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