Iowa Council of Teachers of English

Two Poems: ‘Keokuk to Fairfield’ and ‘On the Edge of August’

Two Poems: 'Keokuk to Fairfield' and 'On the Edge of August'
September 23, 2018

KEOKUK TO FAIRFIELD Passing beige, darker brown and black Corderoy nubbled cornfields Sliding by on my far left And near right, Grooved into a Lee County 218 North, January Iowa late morning. Red...

Dear Extraordinary Child

Dear Extraordinary Child
September 9, 2018

Dear Extraordinary Child: It is difficult to be an extraordinary child in a world that not only accepts, but celebrates mediocrity. In a nation where we measure academic achievement with BASIC skills...

First Days: Capitalizing on the Start of School

First Days: Capitalizing on the Start of School
August 20, 2018

Several years ago, I began thinking more intentionally about the first day with students. I used to begin with introductions or ice breakers (which largely fell flat, especially near the end of the day)...

Eight Steps to Being Great as a New Publications Adviser

Eight Steps to Being Great as a New Publications Adviser
August 6, 2018

You’ve been hired to advise a high school publication. Now what? Taking over the publication of a school newspaper or yearbook can be a daunting task, especially when you are the only member of the...

A Satirical Look at the Experience of a New Teacher

A Satirical Look at the Experience of a New Teacher
May 27, 2018

First Year Teacher Survives Ruthless Hazing From Students and Colleagues ATLANTIC, IA- First-year teacher Nora Walker has survived a year of merciless hazing carried out by students and colleagues as...

‘Classic American Scene’ and Other Verses

'Classic American Scene' and Other Verses
May 20, 2018

Classic American Scene                                             after Louis Simpson It’s a classic American scene— snow is dusting the lawns surrounding...

Day 1 Devotional

Day 1 Devotional
May 13, 2018

Day 1 Listen James 1:19-21  “You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore...

The NCTE Doublespeak Award

The NCTE Doublespeak Award
May 6, 2018

I first heard of the Doublespeak Award in an applied linguistics class at UNI. The award, developed by the NCTE Public Language Committee in 1974, is “an ironic tribute to public speakers who have perpetuated...

Memoir: Toward the Teacher I Want to Be

Memoir: Toward the Teacher I Want to Be
April 29, 2018

“Kenna, will you tutor this student in biology?” Music to an aspiring teacher’s ears! Excited to feel needed, my head spun with so many plans for worksheets and flashcards and quizzes and games....

February 15th, 2018 (A Poem)

February 15th, 2018 (A Poem)
April 22, 2018

February 15th, 2018 Today I traced letters into my cheek tested their warmth bit around their edges and held them on my tongue until they grew soft and quiet I wanted my students to hear wildflowers or...

Two Empty Chairs: A Poem

Two Empty Chairs: A Poem
April 16, 2018

Two Empty Chairs We waited, saving the last two chairs for them Small talking about bleacher-friend days Asking the catch-up question, “What’s new?” It wasn’t unusual, that these two would...

My Tía’s Redención, A Lyric Poem

My Tía’s Redención, A Lyric Poem
April 9, 2018

My Tía’s Redención, A Lyric Poem Click, click, click. Medium blue flames licked the bottom of the cellophane-flaking, greased stained pan. Raw white sopes lovingly slid into crackling oil, never...

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