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Field Notes: Coming Together as a Community

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to provide you with an update on our ongoing efforts to continue supporting NCTE members while also protecting the health and safety of our staff and volunteer leaders. This situation affects all of us, regardless of our role within the organization.

First and foremost, we have enacted a plan to support our employees and their families and have assured them that the safety and well-being of each employee and their families is of paramount importance to us. We have continuity plans in place with our customer service support team and will continue to monitor our situation. Like many of NCTE’s members, many of our staff have new distance learning responsibilities with their children. We are learning with and supporting each other at every turn.

Yesterday, we released resources curated with great care to support teachers at this time. The resources are available to all who are interested—NCTE released all paywall restrictions. The resources have been shared widely and have reached a large number of teachers who are not yet NCTE members. We are also in conversation with professional organizations across disciplinary groups and are planning mutual support in the coming days.

Community is a salve to the anxiety and stress we face at this time. We are working hard to provide distance opportunities for our members to connect, problem solve, and draw strength from each other. Today, we share two new efforts geared at doing just that:

NCTE Member Gatherings: We are beginning a weekly series of member-to-member social gatherings beginning Tuesday, March 24, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Our first gathering will be hosted by longtime NCTE member Antero Garcia and will open with a special reading by Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, author of Love from the Vortex & Other Poems and also a longtime NCTE member. To RSVP, please visit this webpage where we will also post future sessions.

Social Hours: This treat has been planned by the fabulous NCTE Community Ambassadors over the last few months, prior to the pandemic. The social hours will be hosted by our ambassadors and themed by topic to assist our members in specific ways. The first session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. ET and will focus on “Teacher Self-Care.” NCTE Ambassadors Michelle Rankins and Christina Nosek will lead the first session. To RSVP, visit this webpage.

We are here for you, and we know that we are stronger together. We are in conversation with professional organizations across disciplinary groups; we are looking for ways to partner and support each other. We’re hard at work and there’s much more goodness to come as the next chapters are written.

—Emily Kirkpatrick
NCTE Executive Director