Biweekly Member News Updates

Twice a month INBOX, the newsletter of NCTE, celebrates stories of members in the news. These stories are archived here.


Scholar’s View: To Understand the Present, Dig into the Past with Texts like Huck Finn

In this commentary in the Duluth News Tribune, NCTE president Jocelyn A. Chadwick writes, “to understand, navigate, analyze, and change our present, we must consciously drill into and examine with eyes wide open our past, our individual and collective past. This is what texts like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn provide our children.”

Q & A with Ebony Elizabeth Thomas: Why children need more diverse books

In this interview from the Penn GSE Newsroom, Ebony explains “It’s not just kids of color, kids from the margins who need diverse literature and media. It’s all kids who need all stories about all kinds of people.”

Melissa Smith and four of her students talk about the power of teaching living poets in this Education Talk Radio interview.

“Once I started teaching more living poets in my classroom, I saw the impact that it had on my students. I saw how inspired they were, so it became a mission of mine to share that passion with other teachers. Now there are so many teachers on this hashtag. . . . It’s become a movement, in a way.”

Congratulations to Chris Knoblaugh of Castillero Middle School in San Jose, CA, for publishing her first novel, Tribute.

Congratulations to Nicole Juanita Da Silva of Boston International High School
Nicole was named one of the 2018 Boston Public Schools Educators of the Year. In her statement she says, “my students are a part of my extended family (some of them even call me their second mom or aunt in this country), and I expect nothing but the best for them.”
8 Essay-Free Ways to Share Student Research by Angie Miller
In this Middleweb article, Angie urges readers, “Don’t get bogged down by the research essay! While it’s the most traditional student research product, there are other great ways for students to practice and incorporate their research skills.”

A media literacy focus on The Grapes of Wrath

Why do middle school students study the Great Depression? What do we want them to learn and understand about this period in American history? Media literacy expert Frank Baker offers a wealth of teaching ideas tied to the novel The Grapes of Wrath and its film treatment.

The Advantages of Being a New Teacher by Matthew M. Johnson

New teachers are frequently defined in terms of their struggles, and those are real. But we should also focus on their strengths.

How one educator teaches presentation skills

Students in one high school’s English classes use a low-stakes, impromptu speech activity to help build presentation skills. In this blog post, their teacher, Jori Krulder, explains the process, including modifications for students who may be introverts.

Shout Outs!


The March for Our Lives: What It Means for Me
An NCTE blog post by Yolanda Whitted

“The March for Our Lives—It washed over me like a tsunami, every bit of hurt and pain I should have felt, but never allowed myself to, because I had to be strong. I couldn’t get caught up in my feelings because I had to teach my students how to use their voices, and I couldn’t do that if I turned into a soft, blubbering idiot—or so I thought. . . .”

For more about the student advocacy on display this past weekend and what it might mean for your classroom, read When Student Inquiry Becomes Student Action, a Middle Web Blog post by Kevin Hodgson that features several other member voices.


The Importance of Mentoring ELA Educators
An Education Talk Radio interview with Anna J. Small Roseboro 

“Probably the thing I tell them most is to carve out and hold sacred time for yourself every week. At least one day a week do nothing having to do with teaching . . . Otherwise you get overloaded, stressed out, and feel like it’s not worth it. I can tell you it’s worth it every day if you can come fresh.”

Joanne Yatvin: The Purpose of Public Schools  
An editorial on Diane Ravitch’s Blog


Tune in to These 7 YA Lit Podcasts
Including Text Messages from!
By Kelly Jensen for the School Library Journal  


3 Essential “Rs” for Developing Writers of Argument
A Corwin Press blog post by NCTE members Michael W. Smith and Jon-Philip Imbrenda.


4 ways to teach through “think alouds”
A Middle Web blog post by NCTE member Molly Ness

“There are cognitive and academic benefits to thinking out loud, asserts Molly Ness, an associate professor of education at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education. In this article, she shares four tips to help integrate this approach across the curriculum, such as offering a visual cue to students when teachers are thinking out loud.”


Ideas for creating lessons that matter
An Edutopia blog post by NCTE member Beth Pandolpho

“Designing assignments that matter can help prepare students for the real world, writes English teacher Beth Pandolpho. In this blog post, she offers three strategies to support such design and foster student independence.”

SmartBrief honors education bloggers
Matthew Johnson is among them! 

“Knowledge, Passion, and Compassion”: Urban Middle School English Language Arts Teachers—What’s Your Story?
by James Blasingame

Alexandra Greene from Bozeman High School, Bozeman, Montana is the recipient of the 2018 NCTE Edwyna Wheadon Postgraduate Training Scholarship.

CNV Fellow Marcus Croom was selected by the UIC College of Education faculty for the honor of the doctoral Dean’s Merit Award at commencement. Read his blog here.

Can 5-minute meetings boost students’ writing?
Edutopia article by Jori Krulder

Project LIT: How a Nashville educator turned a class project into a nationwide movement
Education Dive article about Jarred Amato

NCTE members took to the national stage last week as they articulated what they do to keep their students safe and what they wish they had available to assist in that effort.

Olivia Bertels and her colleague Brittany Wheaton launched an online campaign that put a spotlight on the things teachers really need to create strong, safe learning environments. Read an editorial they wrote about the project for Teen Vogue.

Paul Hankins shared the measures he’s taken to secure his classroom in this New York Times article. He also posted a blog about the connections between the work he does as a teacher and the work he did in the US Navy.

More News:

Is there still value in reading ‘Huck Finn’ and ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’?
Minnesota Public Radio News interview with NCTE president Jocelyn Chadwick

With Celebration and Support, Teachers Can Help Retain Each Other by Tricia Ebner

Mistakes Were Made: A Classroom Confessional
by Kevin Hodgson

Orbis Pictus Honor Book – Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today
by Mary Ann Cappiello

5 Ways to Be a Good Teacher Leader
by Andrea Marshbank

Wild Horses, Black Holes, and Original Medicine
by Jessie Dorin was shared in the February 24 issue of the US Department of Education’s The Teachers Edition.

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