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Lighting out for a new territory...

Hello, Indiana English teachers!

First of all, thank you for continuing to be Indiana English teachers. Times, they are a tough! But your professionalism and steadfast loyalty to your schools, students, and scholarly interests are not only inspiring but also contagious in the healthiest sense of the word. Thank you for who you are and how you do. To that end, we wanted to reach out and start a dialogue about the current state of Indiana English, and how we on the ICTE Executive Board can help you maximize respective your roles as teacher-citizens in your school communities. Please take a minute and respond to the brief survey below.

It broke our hearts to cancel the 2020 ICTE conference, and with equal sadness, we have decided to postpone the 2021 conference for a date when we can all once again gather safely and productively. But just because disruptions continue to plague our year, that doesn't mean we can't continue to serve you. We look forward to reading your responses and to advocating for you and your interests in whatever ways we can. Thank you again. Be well and do good.

Take the survey

August's Featured Teacher - Inga Omondi 

"My advice is to take time each day to really get to know your students on a personal level.  I fully believe in the saying that 'Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.'  When you connect with your students, they will work harder for you because you really see them as a person."
- Inga Omandi

“Inga is the kind of educator who notices the small things and lends a hand when help is needed. She is compassionate and intuitive…and never shy about having fun.”  
- Ruth Ayres, Director of The Lead Learners

by Leigh Anne Eck, George Rogers Clark Middle School

Current School and Position: Tippecanoe Valley K-12 Digital Integration Specialist and English Learner Instructional Coach.

Teaching History:  My first two years (2005-2007) I spent teaching overseas at an international school called Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa as a third grade classroom teacher. In 2007, my husband and I moved back to the US to my hometown where I was offered a job teaching fourth grade at Akron Elementary – Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.  From there, I have worked as a Reading Interventionist, Elementary Instructional Coach, and Technology Coordinator for a consortium of schools in Northern Indiana called The Lead Learners.

Describe your experience working with EL students and teachers.  

EL students are near and dear to my heart. A passion was lit in 2003 when I went on a mission trip to Nairobi Kenya- Eastleigh (a community within the greater Nairobi area). I was a part of a group of college students who spent time partnering with an organization called Made in the Streets to help teach homeless youth. This experience was not long enough, and I decided that teaching overseas was where I was being called to. In my classroom at Rosslyn Academy, English learners were the majority of my students and from many countries – South Korea, Kenya, America, The Netherlands, and Ethiopia to just name a few. 

And so, as we moved back to the US, I craved those diverse perspectives that English Learners bring to the classroom and looked for ways to build partnerships with EL families within our small rural community. In 2017, I was blessed to get an opportunity to do just that as an English Learner Instructional Coach. While in this role I have been able to support students, teachers, and administrators through co-teaching, data meetings, EL Task Forces, and Family Literacy Nights.

What advice would you give to English teachers for the implementing technology in their classroom for the 2020 – 2021 school year? 

Really dive deep into your school’s Learning Management System.  Whether it is Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams/Class Notebook, or another LMS, spending time now, will help make this coming year so much smoother!  Many of these products have free courses you can take to help train you on the basic functions of the platform.  Once you start using it and have specific questions, “ask” Google to see if there is a quick video or tutorial to get you over your hurdle.  Social Media is also a great way to connect with educators using the same platforms as you.  For instance, I am a part of the Facebook group called “Microsoft Teams for Educators”. I have learned so many tips and tricks for using Teams and have an avenue for asking specific questions and getting answers quickly. 

To learn more about Inga and read Leigh Anne's full interview with her, visit the ICTE website

Call for "Teacher to Teacher" Tips

The 2020-2021 school year is sure to be very different from previous years. ICTE is committed to helping to support you as you navigate the challenges and uncertainty that we are all facing. Our newsletter team would like to feature a "Teacher to Teacher Tips" segment in future newsletters. We would like to feature YOUR great tips, techniques, ideas, assignments, favorite apps, or anything else that may be helpful to teachers as we begin the school year. Specifically, we would like to feature your best eLearning/virtual ideas, as we know many educators will be navigating virtual or hybrid classroom formats. You could share your ideas through a short video (2-3 minutes) or in a short narrative (1-2 paragraphs). Photographs could also be submitted, if useful. If interested in contributing to this feature, please email newsletter editor Jennifer Swisher-Carroll at

Share your favorite books with #ICTEreads

For August's #ICTEreads, let's reflect on why we pursued education as a career and help to inspire each other as we navigate the start the school year. Through your social media account, please share titles of books that remind you why you teach or influence your teaching and don't forget to include #ICTEreads in your response. Have a great start to the school year! 


Sharonica Nelson, NCTE member, offers 10 practical tips for transitioning to online instruction. These suggestions offer a place to start for teachers who may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of delivering content online. Nelson believes these ideas should help teachers "to be confident that the logistics of the online courses will support and not hinder student learning." Learn more here.
In "The Power of Names: Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors," NCTE members Rosanne Kurstedt and Jenny Tuten discuss the power of names and provide text suggestions that focus on children's names and identites. This post is a part of NCTE's Build Your Stack initiative, which is focused on helping teachers to build their classroom libraries. Read the full post here.

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 © 2020 ICTE, All rights reserved.

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ICTE/Terri Suico
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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, Indiana 46556 · USA

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