E komo mai, in my native Hawaiian: welcome!
The National Council of Teachers of English ‘ohana (family) was officially formed on December 2, 1911 “…primarily out of protest against overly-specific college entrance requirements and the effects they were having on high school English education” (http://www.ncte.org/history).
In this era of mandates, high-stakes testing, and sanctions, it is even more important for NCTE members to remember the roots of our organization that trace back to a group of advocates. Our work is most vital during this time of impositions, mandates, tests, and sanctions by those far away from the classrooms; much is at stake for an entire generation of students, who have been tested ad nauseam, sorted, categorized, and labeled, with little if any benefit.
The 2010 Call for Proposals emphasizes the importance of moving beyond the current paradigm plaguing our schools, in order to foster more open and democratic teaching practices that engage students in critical investigations with purpose and joy. Thus the theme for this 100th Convention, “Teachers and Students Together: Living Literate Lives,” is intended to stimulate and inspire us through bold and spirited discussions about how schools can utilize and develop this country’s rich cultural, ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity. These resources will help all students acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed so that their personal, social, and civic interactions can move our nation towards a more democratic and just society and a more harmonious and sustainable world.
Come learn about the benefits of integrated curricula, critical literacy, literature for children and adolescents, the value of libraries and wide self-selected reading, the power of writing to influence thinking, and how these vital areas of inquiry and learning can transform our students as well as our selves and our profession. In addition, there will be sessions on early childhood education and bilingual learners, as well as real-time “kid-watching” strategies and other appraisal approaches that can be used to inform our practice.
What happens in school affects how students see themselves. For this reason, there will be sessions that explore the psychological effects of what we ask students to do.
We will also consider how the past informs the future and look at the kinds of systems and structures that are needed to support teachers, students, and librarians as they grow together and work towards the betterment of our students.
In addition, there will be sessions on how we can restore ourselves, because we must. Renewing ourselves is an important responsibility of all professionals.
Visit the Tech-to-Go area to learn alongside teachers as they share their practices using digital videos. Bring your videos and Flip cameras with you, and join the conversations.
Bring your families along. Come early and stay late. The 100th NCTE Convention site in Orlando is a fabulous venue in which to learn while enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Woven throughout NCTE’s 2010 Convention will be cultural experiences for you to enjoy. Take advantage of this extraordinary professional growth opportunity to meet new friends and learn with our colleagues about the engaging and interesting ways we can further critical and purposeful literacy experiences that expand our visions and benefit our students and society.
Hele mai e ho’olaule’a Come celebrate
E ná hoa kumu O fellow teachers
E a’o mai kákou Let us learn together
Málama pono (Take care) and aloha (with breath),
--Yvonne Siu-Runyun, 2010 Program Chair