A Great Reward - National Council of Teachers of English
Back to Blog

A Great Reward

This post was written by NCTE member Ayanna F. Brown.


I have been a member of NCTE for the entirety of my career, since I was a middle level language arts teacher. A great reward, a feeling of community and camaraderie, comes with attending the Annual Convention and seeing your professional peers.

Growing into the profession has meant continued study of my craft as both a practioner and a scholar. The people that I studied while becoming a teacher are now my friends.

I remember one of my first presentations during the Annual Convention. My middle school classroom was part of a larger research study, and I collaborated on the project. I was thrilled to be asked to present the pedagogical underpinnings of my work. As I shared, I looked into the audience to find Drs. Kenneth and Yetta Goodman in the audience, listening to me. My work as a teacher was valuable, and my insights were as merited as the words of renowned scholars.

Nearly twenty years later, I was chair of the Assembly for Research, and we did a tribute to Kenneth Goodman. I contacted Yetta Goodman, and she honored my request, contributing to NCTEAR’s Midwinter Conference with invaluable support and scholarly thinking. NCTE is my home.


Ayanna F. Brown earned her bachelor of science from Tuskegee University in secondary education language arts, her MEd in curriculum and instructional leadership, and her PhD from Vanderbilt University in interdisciplinary studies: language, literacy and sociology.  Her educational career includes teaching middle school language arts, working with first-generation college planning as a scholarships coordinator for Project GRAD, working in family and community academic development and teacher professional development with Imagine College, and currently, serving as an associate professor of education and coordinator for the Middle Level English Language Arts major at Elmhurst University. She is the author of a number of journal articles and book chapters and, currently, and is a coeditor of Critical Consciousness in Curricular Research: Evidence from the Field.

It is the policy of NCTE in all publications, including the Literacy & NCTE blog, to provide a forum for the open discussion of ideas concerning the content and the teaching of English and the language arts. Publicity accorded to any particular point of view does not imply endorsement by the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the staff, or the membership at large, except in announcements of policy, where such endorsement is clearly specified.