How do we engage today’s students, in today’s world, with literary and nonfiction texts?


Join us and veteran teachers Leila Christenbury and Ken Lindblom in answering these questions in an event that will advance your practice and transform your classroom!

NCTE’s Summer Institute is informed by more than 70 years of combined classroom experience, a large body of research in the discipline, and the collective expertise of a broad network of English educators.

Held in the beautiful and historic Providence Biltmore Hotel in the heart of downtown Providence, Rhode Island, this institute is both a celebration of and a call to action for veteran English teachers, and will ensure that you:

  • Reenergize yourself by rethinking your role as a veteran English teacher
  • Discover advanced approaches to teaching literary and informational text
  • Develop a firmer understanding of how to responsibly navigate controversial topics without avoiding them
  • Explore new technologies, including social media platforms, that can electrify your classroom in exciting, relevant ways for you and your students
  • Meet like-minded colleagues from many states who can refresh your thinking
  • Build a lasting professional network to strengthen your efforts (and sense of humor) as you walk this continuing journey called teaching English.

All participants will take home a copy of Continuing the Journey: Becoming a Better Teacher of Literature and Informational Texts, a comprehensive presenter handout packet, and a personalized certificate of attendance for 15 CPUs.


Why We Need This Institute Now


Book cover for Continuing the Journey by Leila Christenbury and Ken Lindblom
Read a sample chapter from the book that inspired this event!

Teaching English well has always required bravery. To be relevant, teaching English today requires different skills than it did even just five years ago, skills that are critical to our students’ informed participation in society.

A literate population depends on the work we do and how well we do it within the changing landscapes in which we work. More now than ever, the wisdom and insight of veteran teachers is crucial to our ongoing, effective classroom instruction.

It’s time to use your experience—and to share it with others—to go bold and try new things:

  • Use challenging texts.
  • Acknowledge new media as central to teaching critical literacy.
  • Teach students to apply ethical and critical thinking to the tools they use for composition.

These are hard, but necessary, things we as veteran teachers must do.
This Institute will teach you how.

“Teaching is unique in that the longer you do it, the more you know you have so much left to learn. It’s not easy to continue this journey, but it’s worth the effort. Every blister, every sprained ankle, every aching muscle is a reminder of how many miles we’ve come and how many lives we’ve touched along the way. For this reason especially we keep walking.”

Leila Christenbury and Ken Lindblom

About the Presenters


Both Ken and Leila are veteran English teachers who are passionate about staying current with their teaching skills and helping other teachers improve their practices. They have successfully collaborated for some years on a number of projects and bring, between them, both a shared commitment to teaching excellence and different perspectives on a variety of topics.



Leila Christenbury is Commonwealth Professor of English Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, where she has taught English methods, young adult literature, applied English linguistics, and the teaching of writing. A past president of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and a past editor of English Journal, her research has been recognized by the David H. Russell Award, the James N. Britton Award, and the Edward B. Fry Book Award. An active member of NCTE for more than 40 years, she has taught in Virginia high schools and universities for most of her career.



Ken Lindblom is associate professor of English and dean of the School of Professional Development at Stony Brook University, where he teaches courses in English teacher education and rhetoric and leads the university’s teacher and leader education programs. A member of NCTE since 1989 (when he taught high school English in upstate New York), Ken was editor of English Journal from 2008 through 2013. He is coauthor of two other books about teaching English and more than two dozen articles, book chapters, and peer-reviewed blog posts on the subject.




Special Guests



Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is assistant professor in the Division of Literacy, Culture, and International Education at Penn Graduate School of Education. She teaches about reading, writing, and literacy, and her research is most keenly focused on children’s and adolescent texts (broadly construed); the teaching of African American literature, history, and culture in K-12 classrooms; and the roles that race, class, and gender play in classroom discourse and interaction. She is incoming coeditor of Research in the Teaching of English, chair of the NCTE Standing Committee on Research, and past member of the NCTE Conference on English Education’s Executive Committee. Her forthcoming book is The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination in Youth Literature, Media, and Culture (anticipated 2018).Ebony will be the keynote speaker on Monday, July 9. 



Jay Heinrichs is the author of the New York Timesbestseller, Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion. The book has been published in 12 languages and three editions. The leading modern work on rhetoric, it is one of the top ten books assigned at Harvard. He is a Professor of the Practice of Rhetoric and Oratory at Middlebury College as well as a content and editorial consultant specializing in persuasive engagement. Jay will be the keynote speaker on Tuesday, July 10. 



Jeffrey Arellano Cabusao is an associate professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at Bryant University (Smithfield, Rhode Island). In his teaching and research, he focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to culture, society, and social change. He is the faculty sponsor of the Alpha Tau Rho chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society). In 2016 he edited Writer in Exile/Writer in Revolt: Critical Perspectives on Carlos Bulosan, an anthology of critical essays spanning nearly sixty years on the pioneering 20th century Filipino American writer. Jeff will be a speaker on Tuesday, July 10. 

Nuts and Bolts

If you are a veteran English teacher, beyond the first-year jitters and ready to focus fully on the success of your students and your own professional growth, this Institute is for you.

If you’re a mentor, senior colleague, department chair, or school leader who supports teachers in their first 10 years in the classroom, thank you! You are so important to helping them continue the journey. In this institute you’ll learn new ways to strengthen your role in that work.

Imagine you’re stepping into an Ideal Teacher’s Lounge for three days. In that Ideal Teacher’s Lounge, real support is offered. Everyone in the room is there to offer advice, encouragement, and signposts pointing to innovations you can use in your classes. Through a workshop approach, Ken and Leila will help participants dive deep into fresh ways to teach literary and informational texts and into meaningful ways we can share wisdom and expertise with each other. We wouldn’t be surprised if some of Leila and Ken’s friends from the field stopped by . . .

Schedule Overview


Monday, July 9 4–7 pm

Welcome, Introduction, and Dinner (included in registration)


Tuesday, July 10

9 am–12:30 pm
New Explorations of Literary Texts, Literary Nonfiction, and Informational Texts

12:30–1:30 pm
Buffet Lunch (included in registration)

1:45–3:30 pm
Diving Deeper with Informational Text and Social Media

3:30–4 pm

4–5 pm
The Wisdom of Veteran Teachers

(Tuesday night dinner will be on your own or in groups.)


Wednesday, July 11 8 am–12:00 pm

Practical Realities and Brave Next Steps
(A box lunch will be provided.)

Conference Registration:

$1000 (advanced rate, applicable until May 9)
$1200 (regular rate, applicable May 10-June 9)

Registration covers the Monday afternoon through Wednesday evening Institute which includes:

July 9 4–7 pm

Welcome and keynote
(four-course dinner included in registration)

July 10 9 am–5 pm

Sessions on literary, informational, and social media texts with featured guests
(buffet lunch included in registration)

July 11 8 am–12 pm

Sessions on leadership and change
(box lunch included in registration)

  • Personalized certificate of attendance for 15 CPUs
  • A copy of Continuing the Journey
  • Comprehensive presenter handout packet


$169 per night for a junior suite (two king-sized beds) at the historic Providence Biltmore Hotel

Graduate Credit (optional):

One credit will be available through Stony Brook University. An additional written assignment and fee will be required. More details coming soon.

The Biltmore Hotel is offering a very reduced room rate ($169 per night) to Institute attendees. Each room has two king-sized beds, as well as a nicely appointed sitting area. To secure your reservation, enter the reservation code 1806NCTESU at checkout. Rooms in our block will be held until June 12.

Reserve Online

Reserve Your Room By Phone

Guests can call a Hotel Reservations Agent directly at 401-340-2974 seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, and use the group code 1806NCTESU when speaking with the reservations agent.