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We wish you a very merry holiday season!

As we prepare to bid adieu to another year, we wish to take a moment to thank you for being collaborative, enthusiastic members of the Indiana Council of Teachers of English. 2019 was an incredible year, and we have so much to celebrate. Here are a few numbers we are proud to share: 
  • Over 750 professionals are a part of the ICTE network. 

  • In March we welcomed over 120 attendees and presenters to our statewide ICTE conference. 

  • We were honored to receive 2 NCTE Affiliate Awards. 

  • This all adds up to: 1 great year for the Indiana Council of Teachers of English! 

We are certainly stronger together. We wish each of you a happy holiday season and a joyous start to 2020.

Conference Presentation Proposal Deadline Approaches

Your classroom units, lessons, approaches, and strategies are valuable, and we hope you will consider submitting a proposal to present at the upcoming 2020 conference. The best presentations give attendees concrete, specific ideas that they can take back to their classrooms and use immediately. What works well in your classroom that others might like to try? 

Still “on the fence” about submitting a proposal to present at the 2020 conference? Wonder what others have presented in the past? Here are some session titles from the 2019 conference:

  • Creating a Puzzle of Wonder: Revitalizing the Traditional Research Paper through Inquiry

  • Talks on Teacher Education: Ideas for Helping Future Teachers

  • Finding Your Words: Inspiring Creativity in Your Youngest Writers

  • Reading and Discussions in the Elementary and Middle School Grades

  • Methods for Responding to Student Writing

  • Using Visual Thinking Strategies to Make Meaning of Texts

  • Revitalizing Reading with In-Class Book Clubs

  • Teaching Argumentative Writing with Middle and High School Students

As a reminder, all presenters and conference attendees will receive 8 hours of Professional Growth Points for their participation in the conference. 

Submit a proposal to present at the 2020 ICTE Conference
Proposal deadline: January 1, 2020

What practice has been the most joyful for your teaching? What classroom activities spark joy in your students? What keeps you joyful and excited about teaching or about being a literacy educator? Consider drafting a conference proposal that showcases your favorite resource, practice, or curricula to support other teachers in making literacy learning a joyful experience for students.

As you draft your proposal, please choose one of the following formats:

  • Panel Presentation: 50-minute session featuring two or more speakers who will engage the audience around a common theme or question, leaving at least 10 minutes for audience questions and responses.

  • Workshop: 50-minute interactive session led by one or more speakers who will engage attendees in activities around a central topic, question, or theme.

  • Individual Presentation: 20-minute presentation led by one speaker; individual presentations will be paired by level, topic, or theme to make up one 50-minute session.

All proposals should include some element of interaction with session attendees. Please submit your proposal that identifies which type of session you are proposing and that clearly explains its relation to the theme Sparking Joy in Teaching. Proposals will be blinded and reviewed by the Proposal Review Committee.  
Proposal Deadline: January 1, 2020 (11:59 p.m. EST)

Presenters are required to register for the conference and are encouraged to participate in all conference activities. Representatives from the Indiana Department of Education will be on hand to distribute educator PGPs to participants.
Ready to Submit? Access the proposal form here.

December's "Two Minute Tip": The Power of Modeling

In this month's "Two Minute Tip," Shannon Anderson reminds us about the power of modeling, especially in terms of writing. She explains how this practice helps to foster enthusiasm and risk taking in her classroom.  

Do you have a great tip or idea to share with your colleagues? Please send your "Two Minute Tip" video to
Shannon Anderson, ICTE member, discusses the importance of modeling the writing process in front of students. 

Teacher Feature: Beth Bokhart

“The best advice I can give a new teacher is: if you reach one child, you will have made all the difference in the world. You will have bad days and activities that won’t go as planned. Some will be flops and others will be disastrous. Keep a “smiles” folder with love notes; when you are feeling down, pull out that folder and remember: it’s okay. You are doing the best you can at that moment!”
                                                                 - Beth Bokhart
by Corinne Gries, Saint Mary's College

Beth did not begin her career in education but after 11 years in the classroom she finds teaching to be the most rewarding profession. She is currently in her third year as a first grade teacher at Christ the King Catholic School in South Bend, Indiana. Beth earns respect from her students by being consistent, honest and caring. She models problem solving strategies and the motto, “mistakes are good, they help us grow, they teach us what we need to know,” which is echoed by her students both in and out of her classroom. 

When asked about her go to resources to support her teaching and student learning she said,  “I base almost everything on the Project Lead the Way Engineering Design Process. I rarely give students an answer but ask them, “What do you think?” or “Have you asked a neighbor?” This encourages students to be problem solvers and not just followers.

When asked what gives her energy in her classroom she replied, “My favorite part of teaching is watching my students persevere in their learning adventure.”

To learn more about Beth and her classroom strategies, visit our blog read Corinne's full interview with Beth. 

If you know of someone who should be featured in our "Teacher Feature" section, email


NCTE member Karen S. Uehling defines the importance of basic writing specialists who are specifically trained to best serve developing writers. However, due to recent changes, she expresses her concern that "basic writing may vanish as a specialized field," which in her view, "puts students at risk." She also outlines possible solutions in this blog post.  

NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick recently announced that NCTE is engaged in a partnership with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Interested in resources that will help you to incorporate more of Emily Dickinson's works in your classroom? In this post by Lisa Fink, several resources are compiled (included those from the Library of Congress), that will assist you in fostering excitement about Ms. Dickinson's poems in your classroom. Learn more here

We Need You!
Volunteer to Assist with the 2020 Conference:

If you are interested in helping to organize the conference and working with a team to promote literacy in Indiana, please consider volunteering to assist with the planning and execution of the 2020 conference. 
Volunteer to Help with the ICTE State Conference

Become a Member of ICTE

Did a supportive friend or colleague forward this email to you? Would you like to learn more about the benefits of being a member of ICTE?

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 © 2019 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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