Welcome to the homepage of the Tennessee Council of Teachers of English
Check out the News page of the website for information about NCTE sponsored student-awards and more!
Please join TCTE in congratulating Vince Vawter, Tennessee native and TCTE's 2013 Annual Conference luncheon keynote speaker, on Paperboy being named a 2014 winner of
a John Newbery Honor Award.
Winter edition of Visions and Revisions, the TCTE newsletter, is now available. Please visit the Publications page of the website.
Co-editors Kristen Trent and Melissa Comer are now accepting submissions for the May edition of Visions & Revisions, TCTE's online newsletter.
Please see the Call for Submissions on the Publication page for guidelines.
*Previous issues are available for perusal.
My first year of teaching, I looked into the bare classroom (the teacher who occupied the room before me had stripped the walls and taken pretty much everything there was to take) and wondered what I had gotten myself into. As great as my teacher education program had been, it had failed to prepare me 100% for the realities of teaching. I knew how to create lesson plans, plan projects, and average grades; to seek out a mentor for advice; and to avoid the teacher’s lounge (advice from my university supervisor). Fortunately, I also knew enough to know that what knowledge I had only touched the tip of the iceberg when it came to the profession of teaching. I had no idea, for example, how to deal with apathetic teachers (unfortunately, they did and do exist), students (they too are real), or their parents.
Fast becoming disillusioned with my career choice, a trusted advisor suggested I join a professional organization. Taking his advice, I did just that and discovered a support system, a sounding board, and friends who sympathized and empathized with my successes and failures. The veteran teachers who were members of the organization had my back, so to speak. They listened when I needed them to and offered suggestions and constructive criticisms when warranted. The organization sponsored an annual conference, produced a journal, and offered awards to those in the field of teaching. I learned not only more about the teaching of English but also more about myself as an educator.
The most profound lessons I took from that very first membership was that Rome wasn’t built in a day, that it’s okay to fail so long as I keep trying, that students are people, and that it’s smart to keep chocolate hidden in my desk drawer. Now, some 22 years later, I still have chocolate on-hand, try not to build Rome in one day (this one is hard but I’m trying), recognize that the people who populate my classes are people, and, finally, I evaluate my failures and try to treat them as growth areas. As for that first professional membership, I’m still a member.
Won’t you join me by becoming a member of TCTE? I promise that you won’t be disappointed! See the membership page of this website for more information.
Changing the world, changing the classroom . . . . one day at a time with some great chocolate.
Save the Date!! Join us for the TCTE professional development (PD) institute September 26-27, 2014 in Memphis. This year's theme is "Bridging Reading & Writing: Understanding the Core." Education professionals will have the opportunity to gather new knowledge on best practices, evaluate their current practices, and discuss and learn from other classroom teachers and experts in the field.
Please check out the Annual Conference page for more details.
Proposals for the 2014 Professional Development Institute are now being accepted. Please see the Annual Conference page for more details or contact Ivy Phillips, the conference organizer, at
Join us in Memphis!
Thanks to all who attended the TCTE 2013 annual conference in Sevierville. Check out the Annual Conference page for highlights.
Please click the link below to take a quick survey. Survey analysis will allow researchers, TCTE's newsletter, Visions & Revisions, co-editors Melissa Comer and Kristen Trent, to plan professional development workshops. Thanks in advance for your participation!