A Message from Your #NCTE21 Program Chair

As we work hard to create our 2021 Annual Convention, I want to express my sincere appreciation for the patience, support, and encouragement you have shown NCTE and each other during these difficult, devastating times.  

When I first announced the theme for our 2021 Convention, I shared my hope: “That we will collectively examine our teaching and discuss our research. That we will enter conversations wherever we are in our learning and in our knowing. That we will embrace opportunities to have necessary and difficult conversations about literacy and English language arts. That we will leave more knowledgeable, invested, challenged, and involved in the work of equity, justice, and antiracist teaching with students, with families, with communities, and with each other” (see the complete call for proposals).

Indeed, this is still my hope, especially now, as we invite you—our community of educators—to gather for the Convention. In this gathering, we have an opportunity to reconnect and form new connections with colleagues and friends; to think deeply about equity, justice, and antiracist teaching; to reimagine learning goals and objectives through culturally relevant and sustaining frameworks; and to exchange and embrace teaching and research ideas that center the languages, literacies, and cultures of students, families, teachers, and communities. 

My hope for the Convention is also explicitly connected to the following question posed to us all by NCTE member Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad: “How does our curriculum and instruction help students to learn about themselves or others?” Her response is just as inspiring as her question: Be motivated to understand, to practice, criticality as “the capacity and ability to read, write, think, and speak in ways to understand power and equity in order to understand and promote anti-oppression.”¹ 

I ask that we draw on Gholdy’s teachings as we participate in what I believe will be an exciting, energizing, thoughtful, necessary, and creative Convention, filled with:

  • Curricula ideas and actionable, creative, and innovative teaching strategies
  • Sessions that connect learning objectives to equitable practices and research
  • Conversations about ELA and literacy with practitioners, researchers, youth, and families
  • Connections to lessons shared, learned, and implemented from our multiple NCTE literacy gatherings held over the last year and a half 
  • New ideas for aligning our ELA and literacy practices, principles, and scholarship with the literacy interests, needs, and curiosities of students and families  
  • Celebrations of teaching, learning, and leading that will ignite new and expand on existing ideas and commitments for engaged ELA and literacy scholarship. 

So, whether you are a presenter this year or not, and whatever your role—whether you are a classroom teacher, curricular director or designer, school or district leader, student, researcher, author, publisher, exhibitor, sponsor, and/or someone wanting to deepen understandings of equity, justice, and antiracist teaching within a welcoming community of intentional learners—I invite you to join us for NCTE 2021!  

Let us come together to cocreate a healthy, more just world for our students, families, and ourselves. Let us move toward June Jordan’s belief that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” (see “Poem for South African Women“), as we reimagine and strengthen our commitments to English language arts and literacy teaching, research, and engagements. Join us this November for an amazing learning experience. 

All my best, 

Valerie Kinloch
NCTE President-Elect
2021 NCTE Annual Convention Program Chair


2021 NCTE Annual Convention Update

Published Thursday, August 26, 2021
Earlier this month, we launched virtual registration for the 2021 NCTE Annual Convention and shared that a decision on an in-person event would be made soon. After nearly a year and a half spent living and working in a global pandemic, we looked forward to being together this November in Louisville, Kentucky. Unfortunately, despite our diligent efforts to plan and hold an in-person gathering, COVID-19’s latest developments have created a public health emergency that necessitates the cancellation of in-person programming. After extensive discussion this week, the NCTE Executive Committee voted to transition to an entirely virtual event. 

Given the current state of the pandemic, moving fully online is the right, and necessary, decision for our community; however, it is not where we wanted to be this fall. We share the disappointment of NCTE members across the country who look forward to an in-person event for the inspiration and togetherness it offers. 

Because our vision for this year’s event includes a robust, engaging online experience, NCTE has already been building upon the great success of last year’s award-winning Convention experience with additional benefits and innovation to support our attendees. You can expect energizing community conversation, inspiring presentations from keynote speakers, and access to timely content to guide our practice and serve our students in these precarious times. We’re also designing additional engaging opportunities within our online platform so that attendees can connect with one another, with authors, and with exhibitors. Further, we are extending access to most archived #NCTE21 sessions for 90 days after the event. 

In the midst of this year’s challenges, the 2021 NCTE Annual Convention will provide a much-needed space to come together in a celebration of literacy education and educators as we explore how to create a healthier, more just world for our students, our families, and ourselves. We look forward to having you join us on the journey. 

If you have any questions at all regarding this year’s Convention, please contact our #NCTE21 staff team at NCTEevents@ncte.org. 


Special Update: 2021 NCTE Annual Convention

Published Monday, August 9, 2021

NCTE is writing to you today with an important update regarding the 2021 NCTE Annual Convention, scheduled to take place November 18–21.

From the beginning of this year, we have been preparing for a hybrid Convention with a robust online experience, continuing to build upon the award-winning virtual 2020 NCTE Annual Convention. Accessibility to the Convention for literacy educators, regardless of travel clearance and/or other COVID-19 implications, has been central to us from the start.

NCTE takes COVID-19 very seriously. We continue to research and discuss the implications of the Delta variant, particularly as related to our 2021 Annual Convention.

As of now, registration will open later this week, for online registration only. We recognize the need for time to secure and apply funding for registration fees; the cost of the online and in-person Annual Convention experiences are the same this year.

A final decision on the in-person Convention will be made in the relatively near future, noting that this is a rapidly changing situation. If the in-person component of this year’s Convention is determined to be advisable, registered attendees wishing to convert their registration from online to in person may do so without a fee.

We look forward to an exciting announcement about our 2021 Annual Convention General Session speakers later this week. Thank you for your understanding and for your patience as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together.

If you have any questions at all regarding this year’s Convention, please contact our #NCTE21 staff team at NCTEevents@ncte.org.


COVID-19 Policy Update

Published Friday, August 6, 2021

NCTE prioritizes the health and safety of all literacy educators attending the event as well as their learning communities in schools and on campuses. NCTE 2021, should it be held in person as well as online, will have social distancing, mask requirements, and more. Given the very rapid changes underway with the Delta variant, any and all policies will be reviewed and updates announced when and if the in-person component of the Convention moves forward.

Acknowledgement of future policy guidelines will be a requirement for attending any in-person components. NCTE greatly appreciates your patience and understanding.