Iowa Council of Teachers of English

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...

Firing Up for the Fall Conference

Firing Up for the Fall Conference

April 8, 2018

By Nikki Smith and Kirstey Ewald, ICTE Fall Conference Chairs ICTE’s annual conference has always felt like coming home. It hits at the perfect time of the school year as teachers are just starting...

Time Usa Stopwatch Symbol Period Pressure America

No One Owned the Hour: A Poem

April 2, 2018

No One Owned The Hour --for Heather Heyer no one owned the hour no one saw the land turn into water or the sky offer its light to the last door of morning no one remembered when men & women forgot...

Short Story: A Seed of Hope

Short Story: A Seed of Hope

March 25, 2018

A Seed of Hope “Ruby? Is that you?” Mrs. Mertens asked as she poked her head out of the trailer next door.   “Yes, Mrs. Mertens,” Ruby replied. “Good morning.” “Them mums are sure...

Year One, Part Two

Year One, Part Two

March 18, 2018

I’m drawn back to the aromas of deli platters and the sounds of dice crawling on the table for the game. I’m reminded of the warm, parting hugs from my coworkers that became my second family. I’m...

Short Story: A Slice of Pi

Short Story: A Slice of Pi

March 4, 2018

A Slice of Pi Once again, Charles walked away from a grave site alone.  He turned one last time to view the casket, draped in the circular spray of flowers.  The last of the family and friends scattered...

Is it Soda or Pop? When Racism Isn't Confronted

Is it Soda or Pop? When Racism Isn’t Confronted

February 25, 2018

Is it Soda or Pop? Today I had a realization. My family has done nothing to stop my brother's racism. They, in fact, have let it go so often that it's not even a second thought to them. Over the...

Book Review:  

Book Review:  “Solo” by Kwame Alexander

February 12, 2018

Book Review:  Solo by Kwame Alexander Released August 1, 2017 For those teachers and readers who fell in love with Crossover and Booked, the prospect of a new book by Kwame Alexander can make their...

Seasons of Being a Literacy Educator

December 24, 2017

This year I made a career shift. After 26 years of English teaching at the high school and college levels at Iowa schools ranging from Iowa Valley High School in Marengo to Unity Christian in Orange City...

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