The Secondary Experience
NCTE’s Secondary Section has selected a program with the best professional learning you’ll ever find, and a giant network of colleagues whom you’ll want to keep connected to all year long. Whether you love teaching poetry, the Bard, critical literacy, choice reading, disciplinary writing, or some other specialty of grades 9–12, this Convention has you covered.
WHAT KINDS OF SESSIONS CAN I ATTEND?
Over the course of the Convention there are more than 500 sessions designated at the secondary level. Here are just a few of the topics that will be offered:
- Blended and Personalized Learning: Leveraging Technology to Promote Student Inquiry
- A Sense of Belonging: What Ethnography Offers about Ourselves and Others
- Media as Mentor: 25 Ways Journalism Can Inspire Student Writing
- Creating Inclusive Reading Experiences in the Classroom
I’M A SCHOOL PRINCIPAL—ARE THERE SESSIONS FOR ME?
This Convention is rich with learning experiences for everyone who supports literacy learning both in and outside the school, but if you’re an instructional leader searching for the maximum learning experience, you’ll also want to take advantage of NCTE’s Conference on English Leadership (CEL). Learn more about CEL’s Convention (November 24–26).
3 SECONDARY FAVORITES:
SECONDARY SECTION GET-TOGETHER
Gather with hundreds of other secondary teachers to kick off the Convention in this opening session that features a welcoming community, refreshments, and a keynote address from Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, NCTE member and author of The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games.
HIGH SCHOOL MATTERS
A bonanza for teaching ideas and the sharing of great innovations, this popular double session features a room full of roundtables, each hosted by an English expert who meets with attendees in small groups to share resources and strategies.
Renowned authors Laurie Halse Anderson and Renée Watson will be in conversation together about their new books, Shout and Watch Us Rise. The luncheon is also a great place to celebrate the work of secondary teachers through the annual awards presentation.
“I look back at ten years of attendance and each year I can pull something so special, and so unique, and so many ‘aha’ moments that I’m like ‘how did I miss this the year before?’ Then I go the next year and it’s something new. For first-time attendees who maybe need a rationale to attend, it’s going to be all about what’s new, what’s cutting edge, what’s right for kids, and being able to move forward with some ideas that are just going to make you a better teacher and make your students better learners.”
—Tiffany Rehbein, Secondary Section Chair
“The power of attending the Convention is relationships. It’s the same thing that happens in the classroom, where you can forge a strong relationship with someone, whether they’re another first-year teacher or somebody who’s been around for a lot longer. A lot of our elders who’ve been in the game for over 20 years, they show up at the Convention still because they want to invest in younger teachers like myself. I have gained a lot of wisdom and strength from the connections I have forged with people who have been English teachers for a long, long time.
Attending the Convention is professional development, but it is also that spiritual development that comes from understanding that you’re part of a continuum. It’s not just you alone doing this work or reinventing things that have already been done. You are part of a continuum and a really rich tradition of people who are continually trying to exemplify the best practices in serving children with regards to language arts and even librarianship and literacy instruction. It is an unusual experience, and it really only happens in that way once a year.”
—Julia Torres, Secondary Representative-at-Large
“The best part of NCTE for me, especially at the Convention level, is being around classroom teachers who are passionate about what they do, who want to be with kids, talking about books and texts and really doing the work. Most recently I’m really engaged with some professors and some other teachers that are engaged in some social justice work. NCTE provides great interaction between teacher-educators and classroom teachers, inservice and preservice teachers. That synergy leads to a really great atmosphere where I think we can all move the profession forward.”
—Craig Young, NCTE Member