Iowa Council of Teachers of English

Reflections of a First-Time Presenter

First-time presenter Lisa Robinson engages her audience.
Lisa Robinson shares her professional growth from her experience at the 2019 ICTE Fall Conference.
October 21, 2019

The days of ICTE are ones that I look forward to each fall, not only because I know I will feel rejuvenated and excited about my profession, but because I love seeing familiar faces and sharing my passion...

What Teacher-Writers Want

ICTE strives to use authentic photos in its posts. This photo captures a page of teacher-writer Allison Berryhill's journal.
Collected poems written during ICTE Fall Conference 2019
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...

“Caterpillars” and “Unwavering”

Teacher-writer Candace Berkley uses the power of words to reflect on a childhood memory and her father's death.
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,...

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

Poet Jan Luton's home farm.
Jan Luton shares poems inspired by her childhood and by her classroom.
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  ...

Practice What You Preach: Start with Brainstorming

Students' desks are transformed into whiteboards in Jennifer Hartwig's classroom. Writing on desks invites students to
Are you writing? A teacher turns to the advice she gives her students to jumpstart her first contribution to ICTE Journal.
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...

The Fifth Chair Flute

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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...

Do You Have Anything to Read Besides Gary Paulsen?

Lauren Petri's classroom library
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....

Three Poems: “Glowing From Within,” “She Continued,” and “The Boundary Waters”

Three Poems:
April 28, 2019

Glowing from WithinBy Karen Kayser-Kemp Ambers glow from the warmth within.The burning light draws me inTo the secrets hidden in my soulBeneath my breast, ready to unfold. A fire’s purpose is not to...

I Spy with my Little Eye…

I Spy with my Little Eye…
April 14, 2019

A Short Story I heard something the other day about flies: As soon as they land on food, they lay maggots. I’d always thought it was like the five-second rule, you had a few seconds to shoo...

Be Like Bri

Be Like Bri
March 31, 2019

I was reading Angie Thomas’ latest book last weekend, and a quote struck me between the eyes, “All these folks I've never met became gods over my life. Now I gotta take the power back.” As someone...

Write with Them

Write with Them
March 17, 2019

​Right before I started teaching, I was shared a blog post from "The Cult of Pedagogy" about finding your marigold. If you haven't read it, I will link it here. The writer talks...

A Reflection of My Time as ICTE President

ICTE executive board members meet after the 2018 fall conference.
March 3, 2019

I have been very blessed to serve the Iowa Council of Teachers of English over the last two years as President, and even longer as a member of the Executive Board. I wanted to take a moment to share some...

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