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NCTE13… Amazing.

Talkin' teacher at NCTE.Last weekend we were at the annual convention for NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English). I am happy to report that not one person sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

After meeting so many alert, engaged, dedicated teachers, it’s weird that if I Google “educational crisis in america" I get more than 72,000 results. How can that be? (That’s a rhetorical questions, because I know how it can be.) 

What I mean is: the news sometimes seems so full of reports about failing schools, failing teachers, failing administrators, and fail, fail, fail, what’s the point, everything sucks, blah blah blah. It’s depressing, right? So let me try to counteract all that stuff, at least a little bit. Because here’s the deal:  

Man oh manicotti, there are amazing teachers and administrators out there. Lots of them! All over the country!

Over and over, I met people who made me want to be in their classes. Everyone at NCTE is trying to figure out what’s best for their students— how to challenge them, how to keep them from getting on the wrong track, how to get them (and keep them) reading, and how to balance the demands of The Test with a creative curriculum. And this was true across the board. It was as true for teachers-in-training as it was for teachers, as true for principals as it was for superintendents. It was even true for the people we spoke with who supervise the superintendents.

This year’s NCTE was in Boston; next year’s is in DC. We’ll be there. Will you?

NCTE 2013!

I'm really looking forward to the annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English this week in Boston. For starters, here's what NCTE is all about:

The National Council of Teachers of English is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. This mission statement was adopted  in 1990:

The Council promotes the development of literacy, the use of language to construct personal and public worlds and to achieve full participation in society, through the learning and teaching of English and the related arts and sciences of language.

Doesn't that sound good to you? I mean, I know it's not the most exciting thing in the world... but still. That's a pretty worthwhile mission.

I've been spending a lot of time with the Standards lately, so it'll be really interesting to here what the people who actually teach them have to say about them. 

So if you're going to be there, stop by booth 840 and say hello. Draw some cards and tell some stories. Check out the new t-shirts! We can talk about Common Core. We can get our teacher on, and we can talk shop. I love talking shop.