In the Author's Chair: A Conversation with Carla Shalaby - National Council of Teachers of English

In the Author’s Chair: A Conversation with Carla Shalaby

Thursday, August 1, 2019
7:00 p.m. ET, Online

Deadline to RSVP: Wednesday, July 31, 11:59 p.m. ET

Join us for a members-only live discussion of the book Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School with author Carla Shalaby. The event will be hosted and facilitated by NCTE President Franki Sibberson and NCTE member Aeriale Johnson. If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s a good one to put on your summer reading list!

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What is Troublemakers about?

In this dazzling debut, Carla Shalaby, a former elementary school teacher, explores the everyday lives of four young “troublemakers,” challenging the ways we identify and understand so-called problem children. Time and again, we make seemingly endless efforts to moderate, punish, and even medicate our children, when we should instead be concerned with transforming the very nature of our institutions, systems, and structures, large and small. Through delicately crafted portraits of these memorable children—Zora, Lucas, Sean, and Marcus—Troublemakers allows us to see school through the eyes of those who know firsthand what it means to be labeled a problem.




Aeriale N. Johnson teaches second graders for liberation at Washington Elementary School, a school bursting with the energy of multiculturalism and multilingualism in downtown San Jose, CA. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, specializing in early-middle childhood literacy, and a recipient of many grants and fellowships. Aeriale most recently served as a Heinemann Fellow. She is an Associate Director for the San Jose Area Writing Project, facilitating professional development for teachers and writing workshops for children, and serves on NCTE’s Build Your Stack committee. Her blogs, articles, and essays have been published by Heinemann, the International Literacy Association, and Scholastic.


Carla Shalaby‘s professional and personal commitment is to education as the practice of freedom. Her research centers on cultivating and documenting daily classroom work that protects the dignity of every child and honors young people’s rights to expression, to self-determination, and to full human being. Specifically, she is interested in practices of critical pedagogy and critical literacy at the elementary level; classroom community and “management” as the practice of democracy; and the relationships between the daily work of teachers and the ongoing struggle for justice. Carla previously served as director of the Elementary Master of Arts in Teaching program at Brown University and as the director of elementary education at Wellesley College. She started her career as a teacher of grades four and five in her New Jersey hometown. Carla holds a BA in English from Rutgers College, an M.Ed in Elementary Education from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, and an MA and doctoral degree in Culture, Communities, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is the author of Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School (New Press, 2017).



Franki Sibberson currently teaches in Dublin, OH, though her reach extends much farther. A published book author, writer of numerous journal articles and blog posts, and grounded in almost 30 years of teaching experience, Franki has helped move thinking and leadership in English language arts forward. She has served NCTE in various capacities over her career and is active in her local affiliate, the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA). She was the chair of the 2018 NCTE Annual Convention and is currently NCTE President.