Time to Lift Our Collective Voices - National Council of Teachers of English
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Time to Lift Our Collective Voices

A week ago, on Friday afternoon of NCTE’s newly created Advocacy and Literacy Summit, author Sharon Draper asked all who were in attendance to link hands and recite a poem with her about the circle of wisdom, love, and support that connects us as teachers. There, standing in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the US Russell Senate Office Building, 60 NCTE members lifted their collective voice and spoke to the important role we all play in growing future generations through our teaching.

Over the course of two days, the people in that room fanned out across Capitol Hill to visit 79 different House and Senate offices, sharing the policy priorities of the Council and connecting those priorities to their own work on the ground. We heard from two dozen speakers who covered everything from the current status of the Higher Education Act to the latest research on the national teacher shortage. And we dined with NPR correspondent Claudio Sanchez, who offered a stirring challenge to us as educators to consider whether we’re fighting hard enough for the changes we wish to see.

The photos below help to illustrate what transpired, and the feedback we’ve received from participants is inspiring us to do even more.

You can do more too.

If you’re eager to get more involved in education policy and would like to play a critical role in helping NCTE to speak out about our priorities for the year, consider applying for the 2018–19 Kent D. Williamson Fellowship. The application is now open and the deadline to apply is May 23.


If you haven’t written your legislators about the importance of fully funding education in the 2019 Appropriations spending bill, you can do so now via this action .