Field Notes: A Timely Social Media Campaign - National Council of Teachers of English
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Field Notes: A Timely Social Media Campaign

We are continuing to challenge ourselves to support the NCTE community in new ways as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


We’ve been closely reading posts from teachers on a daily basis that express their response to the abrupt change of instruction in response to COVID-19; many teachers mourn the absence of formal goodbyes to their students. We are in awe of teachers now supporting their students in new ways. The same teachers are now weathering the pandemic while maintaining their commitment to students’ education and well-being.


The leadership of teachers across the country is undeniable in these historic and, yes, scary times.


To highlight the unity of this leadership among NCTE members and the wider community of teachers, we’re launching a new social media campaign. This is intentionally designed to be a low-lift effort to show solidarity. We invite you to use the hashtag #ImWithMyStudents and show the commitment we know you have. Together, we will build a groundswell of support and solidarity. In addition, noting that literacy education will forever be changed, we invite you to submit your stories, links to your blog posts, and even artifacts to NCTE will catalog these experiences during this historic period for current and future support and learning about our field. While NCTE will curate this effort, it will be driven by teachers everywhere who are doing their very best to stay with their students’ learning.


NCTE’s systemic work supporting our community through coronavirus also continues. We are so grateful for the leadership of NCTE members Antero Garcia and Detra Price-Dennis for hosting the weekly NCTE Member Gatherings. They’ve deftly led us through honest and supportive conversations, ensuring sacred space for teachers to draw strength from each other. Our guest readers Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz and Matt de la Peña have helped us open our time together through writing and reflection. We thank these close friends for joining us, and we invite your participation in the future gatherings.


View the clip of Matt de la Peña’s reading this past week.

Next week, we will host a special leadership event with internationally renowned innovator Tony Wagner. Tony will join us for a special online event on Tuesday, April 7, which is the same day his new book, Learning by Heart: An Unconventional Education, debuts. Two weeks following, we are really looking forward to hearing from Ernest Morrell—director of NCTE’s Squire Center, and the Coyle Professor of Literacy Education and Director of the Center for Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame—for a briefing on new educational policy studies. There’s been overwhelming interest in the two sessions, and we’ve purchased more virtual seats so that more people can attend.


There’s even more to partake of from NCTE, including NCTE Verse, a weekday dose of poetry and NCTE member perspectives on particular poets, contemporary and diverse. We invite you to join any or all of these opportunities—and to stay tuned for even more to come. If you aren’t already a member, we encourage you to become one today. Providing for these efforts to enrich our field is made possible through a braiding of funding and an individual’s annual membership. Membership not only provides access to benefits but also seeds opportunities for colleagues in the literacy education profession.

We wish you health, safety, and community now and in the days ahead. I welcome opportunities to hear from you about ways in which we can grow together. Feel free to email me at


Emily Kirkpatrick
—Executive Director