Iowa Council of Teachers of English

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...

ICTE executive board members meet after the 2018 fall conference.

A Reflection of My Time as ICTE President

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...

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:

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

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:

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

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...

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