English prof and students present research

Kim Van Es, lecturer in English at Northwestern College, and four students presented a breakout session at the 2013 Iowa Council of Teachers of English (ICTE) annual fall conference in Johnston, Iowa, Oct. 10–11.

The session, entitled “English/Language Arts Books I Should Read, But …,” was based on the premise that reading professional literature is beneficial to the craft of teaching English, but it can be difficult to make time to do so. The four students presented highlights from books they selected to be beneficial to middle and secondary education English teachers. Each presentation was roughly 15 minutes long and included audience participation.

Attending and presenting at the ICTE conference fulfilled a learning goal of Van Es’ course, Methods of Teaching English and Speech. “I want these students to imagine themselves as future leaders in their fields,” says Van Es. “They are capable of making a difference not only in their own classrooms, but in the field of English teaching itself.”

The conference also featured keynote speaker Penny Kittle, an author and English teacher from North Conway, N.H. Kittle’s book, “Write Beside Them,” is a required text for Van Es’ course and also earned the author the 2009 James Britton Award from the National Council of Teachers of English.

The student presenters included Kinbrae Bezdicek, a senior English teaching and Spanish major from Jackson, Minn.; Tyler Farr, a junior English teaching major from Littleton, Colo.; Theresa Larrabee, a junior English teaching and theatre/speech major from Humboldt, Iowa; and Kiersten Van Wyhe, a senior elementary education major from Springfield, Mo.