Iowa Council of Teachers of English


April 30, 2017

Yesterday, at the annual face to face meeting for the ICTE Executive Board, podcast master Austin Hall took the time to ask each of us about memorable moments and accomplishments from this school year. One...

Let’s Talk About It! Facilitating Whole-Class Discussions

March 12, 2017

Students love to talk.  With a new emphasis on speaking and listening ushered in by the Common Core State Standards, teachers must learn to harness this social drive and use it to pull pull the wagon...

After the Dirt Falls Away

March 5, 2017

I never choose to write poetry for myself. It is a genre of writing that has always made me feel weak and vulnerable, so why would I choose to write it? Why would I put it out into the world and...

Education is what Remains

February 26, 2017

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” --Albert Einstein It’s the dreaded question: “When are we ever gonna use this?” This starts an...

Feed Me Better Feedback

February 19, 2017

Crimson marks bleed on my essay, as if my teacher was George R. R. Martin and this was the red wedding. The trivial letter etched on the front page somehow measured my self-worth . As I turned each page...

The Power of Submission

February 5, 2017

I took some risks this week as an educator, and it struck me how many of these risks had to do with submitting — proposals for presentations, applications for programs, entries for awards, and articles...

First Year Small Talk

January 29, 2017

“How’s your first year going?” a polite friend asks innocently as we stand in line for hot cider. I hate this inevitable question; it’s loaded. And this is how everyone starts a conversation...

Socratic Circles in the Classroom

January 22, 2017

The students in my ninth grade class are seated in two circles. The inside circle of students in chairs is involved in a heated discussion of who is to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. They...

Managing the Beehive

January 15, 2017

Andrew's hand wrapped tight around mine. "Your internal dialogue is like a beehive tonight." I took rapid breaths in and focused on the pancakes in front of me. "There is so much coming and...


January 8, 2017

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 9, after staying up late to watch the election results, I poured myself a cup of coffee and thought about my upcoming day. I was well-aware that walking...

10,000 Steps

December 18, 2016

I used to live in my own little corner of the world.  Or school.     In a small district, when one teaches 9th grade English/Language Arts, she is the only 9th grade English/Language Arts...

Where Do We Go From Here?

December 10, 2016

To My Favorite Visionaries—Language Arts Teachers!   I am so grateful for your vision, for your passion, for your ongoing commitment to kids.  Teachers more than any other group of people...

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