Iowa Council of Teachers of English

On Color Blindness in the Classroom

September 18, 2016

A young pre-service teacher I have come to admire, posted on Facebook a while back that one of her professors had referred to future students as "the color blind generation." She was disappointed that...

Why We (Still) Blog

September 11, 2016

My students have been blogging since 2008. At the time, it seemed like an innovative way to accomplish some of the goals of a writing notebook (e.g., developing fluency), while giving students access...

Huckishness: Spoon-fed Classics, Worthy Objectives, and a Reflective Mindset

September 4, 2016

  (A version of this piece first ran as a guest blog on Ethical ELA on May 28th, 2016.)   Huck Finn was going the way of Hester Prynne in my American Heritage classroom. Which is to...


August 28, 2016

I remember what it was like to be the #newkid in school. You see, we moved a lot when I was a kid. My mom used to joke that my cumulative file must have looked like my parents were migrant workers. They...

The Dichotomy of Failure

August 21, 2016

We’ve all been there… yes, we’ve ALL been there. It’s hard to admit, and it hasn’t gotten easier to use the F word about my class(es), but we have all had moments of FAILURE. When I started...

Sucking at Golf

August 14, 2016

In August, we start anew. A new year. New kids. New goals. I love the start of a new year. Life just seems full of possibilities. It seems like I can do anything. Be anything. My plans for that...

Teaching Moment: The Most Beautiful Thing

August 7, 2016

Last March, on our last day before a well-deserved break from school, I decided to forego my AP Language and Composition lesson plans and show a short movie or movie clip that could prompt some discussion....

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

July 31, 2016

I decided to take on social media. Since Facebook is the main type of social media I access, I decided to focus mainly on that. The goal is to create a more positive view of teachers everywhere....


July 24, 2016

April 17, 2014 Education Week A bill under consideration would end the use of school spankings and paddlings in [Missouri]. April, 1969 (approximately) As an early career teacher in a larger...

Namaste: An Honest Teaching Philosophy

Namaste: An Honest Teaching Philosophy

July 17, 2016

SRG, MTSS, PLC… It’s like a scene from The Wizard of Oz: rather than lions and tigers and bears (Oh my!) a teacher might have an acronym chant of the latest buzzwords reverberating through her head...

Freedom and Responsibility

Freedom and Responsibility

July 12, 2016

It’s already a messy year for media and politics, which foretells a complicated school year ahead for high school journalists to discuss election issues and cover candidates. In Iowa public schools,...

Nonfiction Signposts guide our way

Nonfiction Signposts guide our way

February 21, 2016

A week ago at an EdCampIowa session in Ames on "Teaching Literacy 6-12 with the Iowa Care," the discussion turned to reading instruction. This is a particularly relevant topic for me because I...

Load More Stories
Activate Search
We facilitate deep connections & professional learning for ELA teachers.
Teacher Writings