The Council Chronicle: Updated Format, Same Great NCTE Content - National Council of Teachers of English
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The Council Chronicle: Updated Format, Same Great NCTE Content

ChronSept2015coverYou’ll find a bolder, brighter look in NCTE’s member magazine this fall! We’ve updated the format a bit throughout, while still including coverage on the topics and NCTE initiatives you need to know about. Let us know what you think by emailing

Watch for more links to Council Chronicle content via social media this year as well, to make it as easy as possible for you to access the information most relevant for your professional life.

And for a quick preview of what’s in store in the September edition, skim the quote sampler below—then access the issue online. 

A Quote Sampler from The Council Chronicle,
September 2015 edition


Turner_Kristen-blog-2wide87 percent of teens surveyed by Troy Hicks and Kristen Hawley Turner for their new book, Connected Reading, said they went online every day, often via smartphones.  Another 11 percent went less frequently, but still had access. Only 2 percent didn’t have tools, but were able to get online using friends’ computers or at places like the public library.

“We want to allay that fear that teachers have—they say ‘my kids don’t have access’ and then they don’t move beyond that,” says Turner. In fact, the vast majority of kids are able to get on the Internet, she says, so teachers need to learn strategies to help them navigate it.
Teaching Teens—And Ourselves— to Be Mindful Connected Readers


ReadyingTeachers-for-blog500pxIt’s been more than two decades since the last nationwide study of English teaching programs. . . . Much has changed in the K–12 classroom since then, and a new study conducted by a group of teacher educators from NCTE’s Conference on English Education has found that teacher prep programs are working to address some of the biggest challenges for English teachers, which include:

1) preparing to teach struggling readers and writers;
2) preparing to work with standards and high-stakes testing;
3) preparing for linguistic diversity and English language learners;
4) integrating technology into the classroom; and
5) integrating field experiences with methods courses.
Readying ELA Teachers for 21st Century Classrooms


Participating summer lab teachers spent collaboration time planning ways to work with informational texts to elicit more rigorous conversations among students.

Literacy learning labs, held this summer in 21 rural schools in five states, gave students a safe space to read and write and gave teachers a chance to collaborate and try new strategies. Funding these labs is a Literacy Innovation in Rural Education through Collaboration (LIREC) grant, a two-year, $4.6-million grant between NCTE and two partners, Rural School & Community Trust and the Institute for Educational Leadership. 

Students’ Literacy Blossoms at Summer Learning Labs


Short_Kathy blog-small
NCTE President Kathy G. Short

“Through Kent [Williamson], I encountered a mentor who lived leadership as vision combined with the willingness to work hard to enact that vision. His demonstration of collaborative leadership combined commitment to a shared agenda with structures that encourage each person to challenge as well as to contribute to that agenda. This demonstration is also his legacy that lives on in each of us as we move forward with our shared agenda as a Council.”

“What do I get to do?” is a question that continuously resounds in my mind, changing my view of possibility and responsibility.

President’s Commentary: Leadership for Advocacy and Transformation

 K-Alexander-holding-book_blog-size“Being a writer is more than sitting in a room and writing. Words are powerful, and literacy is more than a passive thing; it’s active. . . .

If we are going to tell and write real stories about the world and hopefully impact young people, then we have to be out in the world . . . . Being a writer incorporates being a teacher; it incorporates being an activist, whatever that means to you.”

Kwame Alexander: Pied Piper of Poetry


Nationally recognized Mark Twain scholar Jocelyn Chadwick is NCTE’s newly elected Vice President. 

Chadwick_Jocelyn-blog-small“I have been a member since I was 21 years old,” Chadwick says, “and in all that time, I have always known NCTE ‘had my back.’ Now . . . I can give back with my time, ideas, energy, and passion to help lead NCTE forward.”

NCTE Elections

Attend the Convention the NCLE Way!

To get the most out of your professional learning community, bring a team of educators from your school so you can attend more sessions, debrief together, and share what you learn with everyone when you go back home. 

Check out the NCLE strand of sessions at to take advantage of topics such as literacy and the disciplines, literacy leadership, and getting the most out of your professional learning community. —News from the National Center for Literacy Education


Cory Doctorow sees multiple benefits to unyieldingly accessible literature. An ardent believer in self-directed learning and a proud supporter of the student’s right to read, he describes the relationship between books and readers with words like passion” and “intrinsic desire.”

“The fears we have that kids get wrong ideas from books are overblown. We are naïve about how kids read. We deny their ability to consider ideas.”

Interview with Author Cory Doctorow


NCTE Comic Final-blog-smallEspecially for this September issue of The Council Chronicle,  English teacher and comic strip artist Chris Pearce created a comic strip on a topic that’s always been important to NCTE members—students’ right to read.

Comics, Classroom Reading & Choice


Anne Haas Dyson and Celia Genishi, this year’s recipients of the NCTE Outstanding Educator Award, have long been advocates for a deeper, more individualized study of children’s behavior in the learning environment.

“That’s been a theme song of ours . . . for all these decades, to pay attention to your kids, observe them, get to know them. The story’s unfolding, be part of it.”


Kent-NCTE-booth_blog-sizeA new Kent D. Williamson Policy and Advocacy Center, created by the NCTE Executive Committee, highlights Kent’s commitment to advocating for supportive conditions for literacy teaching and learning. Situated in the NCTE DC office, the Center will welcome each summer a Teacher Advocate, an educator selected by NCTE to learn about and contribute to advocating for NCTE policy positions.

Recognizing Excellence, Honoring Commitment: The Legacy of Kent Williamson