Iowa Council of Teachers of English

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What Teacher-Writers Want

Allison Berryhill, ICTE Publications Co-chair
October 12, 2019

Teacher-writers gathered in the Meadows Room at 2019 ICTE Fall Conference Thursday evening to put pen to the page. Again on Friday, during "Active Voice: A Teacher-Writer Round Table," we opened our time together with one of my favorite poem-model writing prompts. Mirroring C. G. Hanzlicek's beautiful poem "What I Want Is" invites us to explore our desires. As we unspool our wants, we learn about...

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“Caterpillars” and “Unwavering”

Candace Berkley
October 2, 2019

Caterpillars The smell of parsley reminds me of late summer, when the freedom of June days is but a feeling fading fast into the routine of school. My mother always planted parsley in big clay pots, and the black swallowtail butterflies loved parsley. Its vibrant green, small-but-sturdy stalks capped with little explosions of leaves might have been what drew the butterflies, but I think it was,...

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Two Poems: “The Family Farm” and “Students”

Jan Luton, Teacher Writer
August 15, 2019

The Family Farm A place of tranquility    cradled in the country. A nurturing nest    that houses good beginnings. A chameleon patch in a quilt   with seasonal changes. An entertainment   with business of production. A checkerboard of seasons   white, brown, green and gold. A grocery sack    that suppers the table of man. A place to rest.   Students Students...

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Practice What You Preach: Start with Brainstorming

Jennifer Hartwig, Contributing Writer
July 31, 2019

I try my best to practice what I preach - as a mother, a Christian, a teacher. This summer, in fact, I had every intention of practicing what I preach - or in this case teach: writing. My writing was going to work in tandem with my 30+ year family photo collection which I was going to organize into an iPhoto book in which I would then write sweet, humorous narratives to memorialize the childhoods...

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The Fifth Chair Flute

May 26, 2019

I was not a great flautist, but I loved band for the music that was attempted, for the camaraderie the attempt instilled, and for the friends that resulted. This is a story about the friend I did not make…. Not even that… This is a story about the absence of a friend I never made. Early in the fall of 1975, I was a sophomore in high school band and eager not to be last chair flute. Second...

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Do You Have Anything to Read Besides Gary Paulsen?

May 12, 2019

One of the biggest hurdles I faced in my first year of teaching in a small rural high school was finding books that reflected the lives of my students who spent most of their time farming or hunting. They’d burned through Gary Paulsen at a young age, and had tried or had read every other book from the section of the library geared toward outdoor life. For many of them, their reading lives had grown...

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