Networking English language arts teachers at all grade levels since 1901
NEATE Conference Scholarship
For the first time this year, NEATE is offering conference scholarships to early career teachers whose districts cannot afford to support their attendance. Successful applicants must join NEATE but will have their conference fees waived. Deadline: September 18.
Feedback from recipients of 2016 NEATE Conference Scholarships:
As a 10th grade English teacher, I wish to help my students find their own "voice" as they engage with new reading, writing, and critical thinking experiences. NEATE's theme of authentic learning was present in every session I attended, and confirmed that this goal for my students would help them achieve success and gain joy out of English class. I will be bringing back the literacy strategies I learned from Penny Kittle's keynote address to enhance my students' experience with reading new texts. I will also be incorporating the models and standards from the service learning in the English classroom session into my own curriculum around "Identity through Leadership and Service". This was one of the most enriching experiences of my educational career, and I look forward to bringing these values into my own classroom!
-Sarah Krikorian, Bridgeport Military Academy
After 23 years of teaching English in RI, I finally attended an NEATE conference! Where have I been all this time? Why did it take me so long? I am not sure, but I do know that I will never miss one again. This year's NEATE conference was a gift that I sorely needed. For two days I could breathe in the joy of teaching English. And that is what I got out of the conference, a renewed sense of joy of being in the classroom with so many wonderful minds. In fact, the word "joy" was mentioned in each and every workshop I attended, starting with Friday's Session I, Teaching for Love and Wisdom, right through to Saturday's most wonderful visit with Penny Kittle, and learning self-regulated writing workshop techniques. The sessions validated what I do in the classroom, and taught me how to do it better.
In that first session on Friday, we were asked - What is English to you? After attending the conference, I feel even more strongly about my answer:
English is my happy place in high school. It is books I read as a child, and couldn’t put down. Treasure Island and Lloyd Alexander’s Teran Wanderer. It is my Awakening as an adult, steering my lawnmower around the giant tree in my back yard with my newborn son strapped to the front of me as I questioned if I was becoming Edna Pontillier. English is sitting in the dark, with a thought that had to be written, a question that had to be answered, about me, about humanity, about its past and its present and its future.
English is deep and hard and long. It is sustained. Sometimes it visits me in the shower as I suddenly realize a connection to what I am reading or writing, or best yet, TEACHING. It comes to me in dreams and fills my mind most waking moments.
English is the student who lights up because he has discovered something meaningful in a text, and has found a way to communicate it. It is our story, our history.
Thank-you so much for giving me the opportunity to discover English again.
-Diane Foley, Cranston High School West
Feedback from recipients of 2015 NEATE Conference Scholarships:
I am the only English teacher at a very small private, independent school in rural Northeastern Vermont. The opportunity to spend time with others in my field is invaluable. I have learned so much from other adults who work in English Language Arts and in school settings that differ greatly from my own. I left this year’s conference with specific practices to use in my classroom, especially relating to technology. This was my second NEATE conference and each of the conferences I attended felt like retreats. I left feeling rejuvenated and excited to return to the classroom!
-Rachel Kaech, English Teacher, East Burke School
The best session of the conference for me was the Friday morning presentation on written metacognitive reflection. While I have long understood and valued the importance of metacognition in learning, this session was packed with both research to augment the way I value the practice, and plenty of immediately useful suggestions and techniques. I will be using some of these techniques within the next week or two, and I think this is one of the greatest aspects of attending NEATE.
I would highly recommend the NEATE conference to other teachers (and I have). I think it is endlessly inspiring to coalesce with other motivated and engaged English professionals. I love to discuss ideas, to learn about current research, and especially to see how others are implementing all of it in the classroom. It is also important and valuable to step outside the bubble of your own school and district; it affords perspective, which is sometimes hard to get when you are working away in your own little world.
-Ian Wilkins, English Teacher, Groton-Dunstable Regional High School
One main takeaway that I've recently applied to my work is getting students to understand the purpose of their work and how to connect to the bigger picture of each assignment. I was able to take this away through the two workshops on metacognition through writing and differentiation in poetry, as they allowed me to adapt my objectives in a way that students could make connections across their work. I will also take away the message of social justice that was implied all throughout this conference, and reinforced through Sonia Nieto's keynote speech. I was lucky to meet her and re-confirm why I am teaching.
I'm looking forward to applying what I learned through the Building a REP workshop. It was helpful to understand how students typically argue, and now I can demonstrate and model a more organized, effective and productive method for developing verbal and eventually written arguments.
Thank you again for this invaluable opportunity to develop my craft, and I look forward to attending next year!
-Sarah Krikorian, English Teacher, Staples High School
My main take away concerned the importance of multimodal modes in the classroom. I was fortunate that the presenter of the session were also teaching rhetoric, though they were teaching at the college level. I was able to see how they seamlessly had students do high level thinking through multimodal products. I will be using several of the approaches in my classroom and I think they will greatly help increase motivation and engagement, especially with the included learners and struggling readers.
-Billye Toussiant, Boston Community Leadership Academy