Field Notes: Introducing the Why I Write Podcast - National Council of Teachers of English
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Field Notes: Introducing the Why I Write Podcast

My guiding principal in every decision I make is to help you, our valuable members, inspire and guide the future contributors of our society.

We all know how important literacy, reading and writing is to each one of your students (even if they don’t know it yet).

Why do I write these posts? Simple, I want to give each of you a peek behind the curtain. To see what we are working on. To give you direct connection and the inside track to what is going on and why we are doing it.

Today, on the National Day of Writing, I’m bouncing with joy as we launch our Why I Write Podcast hosted by the legendary C.C. Chapman.

This is an idea that I’ve been wanting to make happen ever since first receiving a phone call from one of my life influencers about the idea of a show specifically about the process of writing. Every so often the idea would creep into our conversations and we both hoped to someday make it a reality. As participant in the original National Day on Writing (in 2009), I’ve long been a fan. Joining NCTE merged ideas, needs, and opportunity.

To make this reality even sweeter, our first guest is New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer whom I met this past June at an event in Washington, DC. His story on writing is so compelling that I texted a staff member with quotes throughout his talk.

Ever since hearing the story of the important role his ninth-grade English teacher played in his life, I knew he had to be involved in this work. In his words, here’s a bit more.


Those of you coming to NCTE 2016, you can hear him in person. Until then, listen to why he loves teachers like you.


Throughout my career I’ve strived to work with the brightest talent. Fresh thinking always stokes the fire.

This podcast is the first example of what happens when we remember that we are all lifelong students and new thinking can help each of us. Like Brad, I’m a first-generation college graduate and a lifelong learner. Some of my favorite learnings are from you, NCTE members: in your classrooms, and through your questions and ideas.

After you listen to the full first episode, please let me know what you think and how we can make it better!

This is our organization. I’m excited for the future we create, and the legacy we leave behind.