Iowa Council of Teachers of English

Bachelor Ducks

Bachelor Ducks
February 17, 2019

Bachelor Ducks You sit on mowed suburban lawns, fussing at each other or animatedly chatting— I can’t tell which Nestling together snoozing on a cool spring morning Sometimes two Sometimes...

Two Poems: “The Corolla’s Bad Alternator” and “Catalpa Regret”

Two Poems:
February 3, 2019

THE COROLLA’S BAD ALTERNATOR I went driving with my daughter In my truck to see the man Who drives a wrecker, To see if he’d fix my car. On the shiney black of Bank Street’s asphalt We passed...

Censorship: Hiding Kids from Material or Guiding Kids Through Material

Censorship: Hiding Kids from Material or Guiding Kids Through Material
January 20, 2019

Censorship is nothing new. By creating morals, we have to live with the things that challenge our morals. The trouble is, everyone has a different threshold of morality and most people don’t understand...

I Am a Teacher

I Am a Teacher
January 13, 2019

The other day in my high school creative writing class we were talking about identity. I told my students that our identities are often determined by our place in society. I asked them to consider this...

Two Poems: “Reluctant School Reader’s Lament” and “I Never Thought I’d Be a Writing Teacher”

Two Poems:
December 3, 2018

Reluctant School Reader’s Lament: A Found Poem* Man, school’s a prison. No freedom to read what interests me. No purpose to English. It’s about NOTHING. Just going from assignment to...

Get Kids Talking About YA Books

Get Kids Talking About YA Books
November 25, 2018

There is strong support for teacher book talks, a practice I learned about from Nancie Atwell’s In the Middle and later in Penny Kittle’s Book Love. While I am totally in favor of the teacher book...

Butterflies

Butterflies
November 18, 2018

I believe in butterflies. Not a monarch, nor something that flitters by on a warm spring day.  But the awakening that happens in a student when he or she does “that one thing”. I teach high...

Does Anybody Have a Map?

Does Anybody Have a Map?
November 12, 2018

As I was driving home from another amazing ICTE Annual Fall Conference, I was reflecting on my weekend and my first few years of teaching. As per my usual, this reflection took place against the backdrop...

Rethinking the Persuasive Research Paper: Combating Fake News, Media Bias and Polarization of Ideas Through Teaching Media Literacy and Researching Opposing Sides

Rethinking the Persuasive Research Paper: Combating Fake News, Media Bias and Polarization of Ideas Through Teaching Media Literacy and Researching Opposing Sides
November 3, 2018

The author argues that in order to create a more cohesive, compassionate, and educated society, students must be taught to use objective, reliable sources in studying multiple perspectives on an issue. Students...

If You Build It: Classroom Libraries Create a Nation of Readers

If You Build It: Classroom Libraries Create a Nation of Readers
October 21, 2018

One of my favorite Edu-Twitter moments from the past summer was witnessing, in real time, the emphatic and unified voice of American libraries and readers in response to an ill-conceived Forbes opinion...

Homecoming

Homecoming
October 7, 2018

There’s toilet paper streaming from the trees in my front yard, chalk paint covering car windows all over town, and long-lost familiar faces wandering the streets. It’s homecoming season. First the...

A Dying Wish

A Dying Wish
October 7, 2018

A Dying Wish Inspired by Ray Bradbury’s, “All Summer in a Day” Annabel was more tired than she had ever thought possible, and yet she had done nothing to cause her to feel this way. She had woken...

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