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Nominations sought for Intellectual Freedom Award

WCTE is seeking nominations for the 2013 Lee Burress Intellectual Freedom Award.  The award  is designed to acknowledge the work done by educators who teach and extol the tenets of free speech and who urge responsible, humane and caring communication.  See the award announcement.

In the December Update

Read the latest  WCTE Update for convention news, award winners, new officers, and more.

Business Proceedings

Minutes of Executive Committee meetings can be viewed on this site, along with minutes of the Annual Business Meeting.  See the Minutes page for details.  The Minutes page contains a link to Committee Reports.  These pages are also accessible via the menu under “About WCTE” and by entering the terms in the search box.

WEJ Vol. 54, No. 2 now available

The latest issue of the Wisconsin English Journal  is now freely available online.  See the table of contents for a variety of articles, regular features, reviews, and news about the teaching of English. 

Networking the 2012 Convention

See WCTE’s Facebook page for commentary about the 2012 convention, including links to presenters and materials.  Click on the Facebook picture in the slide show at right.

New directors announced

Election results were announced at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Madison.  For a list of new and returning directors, visit the Officers and Directors page.

Intellectual Freedom award to Ellyn Lem

UW-Waukesha English professor to receive 2012 Lee Burress award from WCTE.  See the fall WCTE Update  for details.

Fall Update now available

Read the fall WCTE Update for the latest news of WCTE and English in Wisconsin.

WCTE Is Ready to Help

From Your President

From Kathy Nelson

Kathy Nelson

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.

Wisconsin Teaching Organization Leaders

Front row (seated, L-R): Kathy Nelson, Lisa Ulik, Jan Weinhold, Leyla Sanyer, Deana Zorko. Second row (standing): Joyce Uglow, Eric Brunsell, Steve Bower, Mike Scoville, Rhonda Watton, Dave Ebert, Mike Koren, Lisa Koenecke, Frank Juarez, Jim Scheuer, Lauren Rosen, Greg Groom, Doug Burge.

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.

Happy Summertime!
  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: nelson@arrowheadschools.org )