If there ever was a time for English language arts teachers (PreK-Graduate) to wrench out of the hands of those who do and would define who we are, what we do, how we teach, when we teach, and what we teach—the time is NOW! Over the next months, as we approach NCTE’s national convention in St. Louis, I want to have a conversation that explores our defining who we are—ourselves. This conversation is an important one if we are to re-acquire our Voices, our Agency, and our Mission.
As for me, I am a lifelong, dedicated passionate English teacher who loves students, literature, writing, research, reading, and other ELA teachers. Like our students, I remain ever-curious, and I have had and continue to have the unique privilege of teaching secondary and college students, as well as collaborating with colleagues as I present, work with students, conduct workshops, etc.
Despite the challenges we all have every day as educators, I still love the profession and know that WE must now tell our narratives. We much explain in no uncertain terms that what we do as English teachers, students in this entire United States of America depend—from cradle to grave– on the foundational life-long skills we teach: reading, writing thinking, speaking, listening, and viewing. English, yes, fiction and nonfiction, poetry and film, art and music—these elements abound in our classes.
Now is the time for us to rebrand and assume control of our narrative. Let’s talk!