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WCTE Is Ready to Help
From Your President
From Kathy Nelson
I just finished writing the names of all my 165 students on index cards, which I use for various things throughout the semester, found my lunch bag with the protein bar from last spring skipped for a student senate picnic provided for teachers, and checked out my newly “deep-cleaned” classroom, so I guess I’m ready to go back to school.
Going back will be a little different this year. The state’s RtI initiative means big changes at our high school and hopefully at yours as well as we address students’ individual needs. And again, the CCSS will necessitate a careful review and adjustments of our curriculum over this and the next few years.
As English teachers, we are in a great position to embrace these changes–especially students’ mastery of literacy skills, a responsibility now shared with other disciplines. While this will be a big stretch for some of our colleagues in the other disciplines, this is what we have been trained to do and have mastered. Here’s an opportunity for English teachers to assume a leadership role within our schools doing our part assisting others with teaching these skills to enhance student learning. I encourage you to avoid seeing this as additional work, rather as a way to share the responsibility for students’ success.
A big part of this will be facilitating close reading. NCTE leaders, Kylene Beers and Bob Prost, have a new book out that might help. Click on the links below to see their podcasts and learn more.
[learn_more caption=”Notice & Note Series – Kylene Beers and Robert Probst” state=”open”]
And for more hands-on learning, save the dates, October 11-12, to attend Literacy, Diversity and Reflection, WCTE’s state workshop and conference. Keynote speakers and session presenters will engage you in just what you need to know, and you will have an opportunity to exchange ideas, question, connect and network with experts and colleagues as well. I just completed my online registration. What are you waiting for? Do it today!
Speaking of reflection, as I ready for the new school year, I must thank you, WCTE, for so enriching my summer and better preparing me for the school year ahead.
In mid-July past president, Lynn Aprill and I joined other NCTE affiliates’ leaders in St. Louis. We learned more of NCTE programs and resources while learning much from one another’s experiences as state leaders. We came away with our own goals for WCTE and were able to share them with the board and district directors a few weeks later. NCTE’s own Millie Davis led us through a new perspective called appreciative inquiry to first examine our strengths and then to build upon those. We applied Kaizen, Japanese for “improvement”, or “change for the better,” to both our WCTE affiliate as well as to our own practice. [See the fall WCTE Update for details.]
For your chance to dig in and benefit from this personal and professional development, attend our annual meeting following our conference or contact me for a way you, too, can be an active part of your professional organization.
And finally, I want to thank you for the opportunity to represent WCTE at the founding of a new statewide organization of leaders from teachers’ groups representing all disciplines. We came away learning from the different structures, offerings and workings of one another’s professional organizations and looking forward to meeting again this fall. See the photo from our first meeting below.
So as you start your school year, remember
- Dr. Seuss: “I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells;”
- kids give you a fresh start every day;
- when you feel isolated within your classroom or when the going gets tough or when you just want someone who understands to share your joy, know that WCTE provides a place for you to turn and be reminded you are not alone.
Summer Board Meeting
Thursday, July 26, from 9:00 a.m. to Friday, July 27, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.
Pyle Center, Room 225,
702 Langdon Street,
Madison WI 53706.
It’s that time again to make plans to attend our annual retreat for all directors and board members. Please use this web address:
to reserve your rooms at the reduced state rate. Our rate is good for Wednesday through Friday night. After next week, they will release the rooms set aside for WCTE. Browse the site to learn of parking and a great breakfast included for overnight guests in the newly updated Lowell Center.
We are lucky to have Millie Davis, NCTE Director of the Division of Communications and Affiliate Services, with us Thursday morning for some team-building. Also our new DPI Liaison, Tamara Maxwell, will update us on the state of the state and share her grammar initiative. Lynn Aprill has special plans for our District Directors. Lynn and I will be just back from the Affiliate Leadership Summit to bring you the latest from NCTE. And together we will set the course for WCTE next year.
REMEMBER, I need digital copies of your reports to post on our newly updated web page. So please prepare your reports to arrive in my email no later than Monday, July 23rd. Having them before will really streamline our meeting time.
Please RSVP By July 9 so the Pyle Center charges us only for those present. After I receive your RSVP, I’ll forward you our agenda and your meal choices. Plan to dine out on the town together Thursday.
Looking forward to seeing you,
Kathy (new email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Wisconsin English Journal
In the current issue:
Seeking Progress Out of Struggle: Wisconsin Teachers’ Stories in the Wake of the Budget Repair Bill
Writing as an Exploration: Rethinking the Research Paper
You Forgot about the Arts: Incorporating Fine Arts into Writing Assignments
Columns, WCTE news, and more. See the current issue for details.
In the current issue:
Carol Jago, Rebecca Sipe keynote; From the desk of your President; WCTE fall convention call for proposals; WCTE honors Senator Kohl; WCTE website; DPI English news; WEJ needs reviewers; Reading research symposium; WCTE award winners; NCTE award deadlines.
Read the May 2012 WCTE Update for details.