Artwork created by Detroit artist Matt Wittstock.
In 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. reflected upon the Civil Rights Movement, white liberalism, Black nationalism, and provided a message to the nation in his book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community. It was a necessary message for Black activists, women’s rights leaders, allies, organizers, co-conspirators, and economists in particular that radical change is imminent, just, and hopeful. He challenged white folx specifically to be so uncomfortable with injustices that they “pay the price to eradicate it.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message is just as urgent today, especially for educators. We have endured years of flexible adaptations in our teaching methods, structures, and styles. We have recognized and uncovered the layers of societal woes placed on teachers through a Covid lens. We have been praised as heroes then later used as scapegoats. We have dealt with chaos at board meetings. We have felt encouraged at protests led by youth. We have witnessed the transition of learning during a historical time with layers of social unrest, racial reckoning, a raging virus with variants, and students who may need a hug that we might be too afraid to give. We are fulfilled. We are tired. We are proud. We are educators.
We must be reminded from MLK Jr. that: “First, the line of progress is never straight. For a period a movement may follow a straight line and then it encounters obstacles and the path bends. It is like curving around a mountain when you are approaching a city. Often it feels as though you were moving backwards, and you lose sight of your goal: but in fact you are moving ahead, and soon you will see the city again, closer by.
In final thought, MLK Jr. reminds us that: “In the days ahead we must not consider it unpatriotic to raise certain basic questions about our national character.” For our 2022 Conference, the 100 Year Celebration of MCTE, we hope to collectively and broadly learn how to move as educators amidst the chaos. We seek out uncomfortable conversations as a means to grow. We will embrace the opportunity to listen and learn, and recognize that learning is confusing and challenging. And yet, we will leave MCTE 2022 restored, rejuvenated, and inspired to continue building community with one another, students, families, and colleagues.
Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Angeline lives in southwest Michigan, but her home will always be on Sugar Island. Firekeeper’s Daughter is her debut novel, and was an instant #1 NYT Bestseller. It also won the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature (Teen category) in 2022.
In this riveting novel, a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, Daunis Fontaine, has never quite fit in—both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When her family is struck by tragedy, Daunis puts her dreams on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother’s hockey team.
After Daunis witnesses a shocking murder that thrusts her into a criminal investigation, she agrees to go undercover. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. How far will she go to protect her community if it means tearing apart the only world she’s ever known?
“Poetry advances the quality of life of citizenry when organized as a precious power tool.” — Semaj Brown Semaj Brown is Flint, Michigan’s inaugural Poet Laureate and the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate Fellowship ward, 2021. Ms. Brown is the author of the poetry/prose memoir, Bleeding Fire! Tap the Eternal Spring of Regenerative Light, Broadside Lotus Press, 2019. Her new collection of poetry (slated for publication by Wayne State University Press), Walking Rivers introduces the poetry opera: The Tea Blood Odyssey which interprets the iconic year, 2020. In addition to being a playwright, essayist, and university lecturer, Ms. Brown is a thought leader who deconstructs obsolete paradigms while synthesizing new philosophies. Her civic initiative is the Poetry Pod Project (P3). P3 pedagogy is interdisciplinary and intergenerational; arts and sciences are utilized to enhance literacy. For additional information, visit her website, https://semajbrown.com.
We are excited to announce a new award and its inaugural recipient at the Fall MCTE Conference. The Stephens, Brown, Steffel (SBS) Award recognizes a Michigan author’s outstanding contribution to literature for young adults. This beloved author will receive the award, give a speech, and sign books. Watch for the official announcement this fall.
Join MCTE for a pre-conference workshop on Thursday, October 13, 2022, 4:00-7:15PM at the Kellogg Center.
Join us from 4:00-5:00 PM for Navigating Book Challenges. MCTE recently joined the Michigan Reading Association and the Michigan Association for Media in Education in supporting a joint statement on The Freedom to Read in Michigan. This session will give you the practical tools to support your selection of “whole-group, small-group, and individual texts for their classrooms based upon ‘the contribution each work may make to the education of the reader, its aesthetic value, its honesty, its readability for a particular group of students, and its appeal to young children and adolescents’ (NCTE, 2018).”
Then join us from 5:00-7:15 PM for Commonplace Books – Reimagining Journals as Personal Anthologies, a “hands-on,” creative session where you will receive the materials you need to create your own model of a Commonplace Book: an annotated, personal anthology that the compiler might use to collect quotes, poems, photos, sketches, clippings, reading responses, doodles, and anything else pertaining to your own personal interests.
This anthology is the perfect place for annotating your “deep dives” into reading or a wonderful place to keep your list of what is next for your reading life. It is a place to collect valuable information that you want to save for future reference. Each compiler decides on their own topics, texts, or images.
Session participants will receive a special new journal, basic art supplies, a diverse collection of classic quotes, short snippets of prose, and images you may want to include in your own personal anthology. We will explore different examples of Commonplace Books and envision how this annotated anthology might work in your own ELA classroom.
On MCTE’s 100th Birthday, come join us as we tap into our own creative spirits and embrace a fascinating literary art form that has surfaced across the centuries. Come create your own model you can use in your own classroom on Monday morning.
Session facilitator: Toby Kahn-Loftus, MCTE Rep-at-Large, Founding Director of Top of the Mitt Writing Project, North Central Michigan College.
Materials and snacks will be provided at the pre-conference workshop.
Register by Friday, September 16, 2022 to take advantage of early bird rates! Purchase tickets online below (via PayPal, credit card, or check).
Conference registration includes a continental breakfast and boxed lunch on October 14, as well as a year-long membership in MCTE. MCTE members receive two digital editions of the Language Arts Journal of Michigan (LAJM), a publication of MCTE, and regular opportunities. Read more about the benefits of MCTE membership here.
Registration Fees for the 2022 Fall Conference:
|Register by September 16, 2022.
|Register after September 16, 2022.
|$155 – Full Time Professional
$100 – Part Time/Retired Professionals
$100 – Full Time Graduate Students
$65 – Undergraduate Students
$25 – Past Presidents
$75 – Pre-Conference on Thursday, Oct.13
|$175 – Full Time Professional
$115 – Part Time/Retired Professionals
$115 – Full Time Graduate Students
$75 – Undergraduate Students
$25 – Past Presidents
$80 – Pre-Conference on Thursday, Oct.13
Online registration ends Tuesday, October 11 at 12:00 NOON.
Discounts available for large groups from the same school. If you plan on registering THREE or more teachers from the same school, please contact the Executive Director for a coupon code to be used during registration. Individual attendee information will need to be entered for each ticket purchased. Registration questions should be directed to MCTE Executive Director Jim Kroll at [email protected].
Past Presidents of MCTE: If you plan on attending the conference this year, we ask that you register to attend and contribute $25 to help defray conference costs and contribute to the publishing of the LAJM.
MCTE Fall Conference attendees can reserve a room for Thursday, October 13, 2022, at the Kellogg Hotel for the discounted rate of $132. For the conference rate code, email MCTE Executive Director Jim Kroll at [email protected]. Reservations must be made prior to September 13, 2022.