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Speaking Out to the Media and to Legislators

NCTE Members Might Speak . . . 

  • To and through the media
  • To legislators at the national, state, and local levels
  • To the public at hearings, local meetings and social events
  • To their friends, neighbors, and colleagues

When you speak:

  • Be authentic
  • Dress nicely
  • Speak succinctly - no more than 3 minutes
  • Thank your audience for allowing you to speak
  • Introduce yourself, your profession and/or your organization
  • Make two or three main points
  • Illustrate your points with stories
  • Conclude with a strong statement, a call for action
  • Thank your audience again

NCTE Members Are the Best, Most Knowledgeable People to Speak Out about NCTE's Positions and How Those Positions Look in Practice!


You Bring NCTE Policies and Positions to Life When You Share Your Knowledge and Experience as Educators. 



NCTE Members Are Vital to Getting the Word Out

  • Your ability to clearly explain why students should read “tough” literature or why high stakes tests aren’t the answer to leaving no child behind articulates NCTE’s mission for members of the greater education world and for the public.
  • Your words even in a local paper will go to thousands people -- tens of thousands in a large city, and millions if that paper is The New York Times.
  • Your words taken to heart by a legislator could make the difference in national programs or legislation.
  • Changing the conversation about literacy education so we can change education policy is our goal.


Tips for Speaking to the General Public

  • Don’t shy away from lightly sharing what you know about literacy learning and NCTE policies when the opportunity arises.
  • Turn that favorite party statement “Oh, you teach English -- I’d better watch my grammar” into a simple lesson about language and how it’s best for all of us to learn and use it.
  • Remember that literacy learning is complicated -- even if some think it simple -- and your mission is to explain this complex process simply.
  • Brag about your students.
  • Skip the jargon but use the personal story.


Please contact Millie Davis or Lori Bianchini, NCTE Communications Division, for assistance with your questions about speaking with the media or with legislators:; 217-278-3634 (Millie) or 217-278-3644 (Lori).

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts