English Education Students Attend National Teaching Conference

Published: May 16, 2023 | Author: Abbie Cochrane | Read Time: 4 minutes

English education students at the National Teaching ConferenceIn November 2022, a group of Southern Utah University English Education students and faculty attended the National Council of Teachers of English Convention in Anaheim, California. The NCTE conference connects students with invaluable professional learning, new research and emerging practice, and rejuvenation that comes from time thinking and connecting with thousands of literacy educators.

"Attending a professional conference is one of the most important activities in which a pre-service can engage,” said Dr. Jean Boreen, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at SUU. “NCTE does an amazing job of bringing in a variety of wonderful speakers and presenters. They also provide a great opportunity for students to talk with publishers about books they are interested in using in their own classrooms...and it doesn't hurt that the publishers are more than willing to give out free books.”

The NCTE conference offered access to more than 690 sessions led by literacy educators, for literacy educators and was centered around the theme, !Suenos! Pursuing the Light, and focused on finding the light while in a period of darkness following a global pandemic and other restless times. Many published authors and English educators attended the conference and spoke at panels as well. The students were able to network with teachers and authors who helped them grow in their teaching abilities and in their understanding of the English language, grammar, and other similar subjects.

Several English Education students attended the conference including seniors Emma Lloyd and Ruger Torgerson and junior Lacey Golding.

“The number of presentations was huge. Each session consisted of 30 people or panels from which to choose,” Golding said. “There were lots of really interesting topics and questions. The panelists talked about ways to incorporate different readings into the classroom, as well as tried and true tips and tricks for being successful as a teacher.”

“At NCTE, I learned so much about what it means to be an English teacher,” said Lloyd. “I left the conference with a binder full of teaching materials and a car full of free books! I attended sessions on teaching diverse literature, Shakespeare, grammar, and more. It was so important for me to have this experience as a pre-service teacher so I could learn how to make my classroom an inviting place. I am so thankful for this experience, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go to this conference without the support of Dean Boreen, Dr. Arter, and the English Ed Department.”

The students also learned to be passionate about what they teach so their students will, in turn, become passionate about the subject too. They also learned how to incorporate literary theory (the use of different lenses like feminist, racial, critical, etc to analyze a selection of text or even a whole novel) into the high school classroom.

“They used the movie Encanto as an example, and it was surprisingly really effective,” said Golding. “They had a mini-lesson of how we would teach the lesson to a class, and then we got to ask questions and receive teacher feedback. I never encountered literary theory until I got to college, and I think it’s a great thing for high school students to learn.”

Then there was everyone’s favorite part of the conference: free books, which Dr. Boreen comedically calls the "running of the books."

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at NCTE, and I'm really happy that I had the opportunity to attend a professional conference for people in the field that I'm studying,” said Torgerson. “The number of conference sessions available to attend was a little overwhelming, but I was able to find sessions that appealed to what I wanted to teach as a teacher. I'd say one of the biggest benefits of attending the conference was the exposure to the culture of education. Knowing that there are hundreds of educators out there that manage to have fulfilling careers has given me a more hopeful outlook on things as I enter a field and profession that are constantly surrounded by controversy.”

One of the greatest privileges of being a student at SUU is the hands-on experience offered by every field of study. From in-class activities to lectures and events outside the classroom, students get a tailor-made learning experience wherever they go. Regardless of their major, students at SUU receive a personalized education that exponentially increases their professionalism, better preparing them for their careers while they’re still a student.

SUU prides itself on its stellar English department and English education program and faculty. Learn more about English programs offered at SUU.

Tags: Education College of Education and Human Development English

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