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Special Virtual Event with Carol Jago:
"Reading in a Pandemic: How Did It Suddenly Become So Difficult?" 

Teachers and students are living through an age of anxiety. For many, the stress has begun to interfere with our ability to read with pleasure and comprehension.

Carol Jago will offer practical ideas for:
  • developing students’ digital reading skills
  • engaging students in reading tasks that matter to them
  • finding compelling, culturally relevant texts
  • navigating the gap from learning loss to learning gains
This virtual event is free for ICTE members, but registration is required. Registrants will have the opportunity to submit questions for Carol to answer during the event.   
Register for Special Virtual Event with Carol Jago

January's Featured Teacher: Jennifer Heiter

“Bremen High School is a family (cheesy, yes, but true) in which we take care of each other, and our staff truly loves our students.” - Jennifer Heiter

Students at Bremen High School often describe Jennifer’s classroom as safe and energetic with a dash of crazy. She loves to cook and her biggest joy outside of the classroom is when her four children are at home and gathered around the table eating, laughing, and playing games. One piece of advice Jennifer has for new teachers is: “Don’t expect students to be adults. They are not. Provide a safe nest for them to screw up, learn, and evolve. Love them like crazy. They will remember the love.”

Interview conducted by Corrine Gries, Saint Mary's College

Hometown: Mishawaka, Indiana

Current school and position: Bremen High School; Chairperson of the English and Foreign Language department 

Years in teaching: “This is my twenty-fifth year. I taught for seven years at Argos.”

Your go-to resources that support you and your students:

“For me: prayer. For us: I try to plug in little wisdom nuggets whenever I can -- during a poem, when discussing the basics of an argumentative essay, while sharing a project on a film analysis--that help students with their mental health or with being a better human.”

Favorite book you read this year:

“I am reading my way through the Outlander series. This series has really gotten me through COVID. I approached it as a silly romance that was recommended to me but was surprised to discover that the author Diana Gabaldon has researched extensively. I am currently finishing book seven. I also really enjoyed The Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeline Miller.”

During this unprecedented time as a teacher, share how you and your students have worked together to tackle the challenges of virtual and/or person instruction. 

“COVID has taught me to be more chill. As a type A, I am to-do-list driven. But now to-do lists are taking a backseat to being well and making sure we are well together. (It doesn’t hurt that this is the first year that the sophomores will not have ISTEP; I feel the instant relief from tension and pressure that I put on myself each school year.)”

Share what gives you energy in your classroom:

“I am constantly energized by the students. I absolutely LOVE my job. I love it less during COVID, but I feel blessed every day to be able to care for and learn from my students.”

The students at Bremen High School in Bremen, Indiana, are fortunate to have Jennifer Heiter as their teacher; her dedication to the profession and students is an asset to the community. To read Corinne's full interview with Jennifer, visit our blog

This Month's Teaching Tip: Buying Books on a Budget

Did you resolve to build or refresh your classroom or personal library this year? If so, ICTE Executive Treasurer and Saint Mary's professor Terri Suico provides great tips for where to find "budget books" in this month's Teacher Tip video. 
ICTE Executive Treasurer Terri Suico explains how stocking your classroom (or home) library doesn't have the break your budget.  

ICTE Accepting Nominations for Executive Treasurer

The Executive Treasurer, appointed by the ICTE Executive Committee, serves for a period of three years and may be re-appointed by the Executive Committee for a similar period or periods of time. The duties of the Executive Treasurer include:

  • Working directly with the President and the Executive Committee coordinating, advising, and assisting the efforts of all.

  • Serving as the Council’s liaison officer to the National Council of Teachers of English.

  • Managing the financial affairs of the Council, including those connected to Council events.

  • Directing the publicity of the Council.

The new Executive Treasurer will begin their term in July 2021, with mentorship and transition opportunities. If interested, send a resume and cover letter to Katharine Higgs-Coulthard at

Become a Member of ICTE

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Indiana Council of Teachers of English welcomes all literacy teachers and advocates at all levels.  If you would like to join ICTE and receive encouragement, support, and information about literacy, instruction, and policy, click the button below and sign up.  It's free!
Copyright © 2021 ICTE, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
ICTE/Terri Suico
Saint Mary's College Education Department
23 Madeleva Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

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Indiana Council of Teachers of English · Saint Mary's College · 6 Madeleva Hall · Notre Dame, IN 46556 · USA

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