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Notes from the Teachers’ Business Meeting at the 2016 Congress

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The 2016 Biennial Congress offered a pre-congress workshop day for secondary school teachers. As part of the workshop, teachers engaged in a business meeting to address the following concerns:

  • In what ways would we like to organize ourselves?
  • How shall we communicate as we continue?
  • What specific issues and topics does our group need to discuss both now and in the future?
  • Other questions/concerns the group would like to consider going forward.

 

Business Meeting High School Teachers, New Chaucer Society
July 10, 2016
(Notes submitted by John Longo and Kara Crawford)

1. Future NCS congresses: Pedagogy thread should actively include high school teachers in paper selection.

2. Establish an official NCS “Secondary School Teachers Group” ­­ (consider inclusive name “Secondary School Education Group” for all interested in this topic)

3. Create a dedicated session or conference time for this group at future congresses
     - Encourage Secondary Teacher submissions to Poster Session at NCS

4. Work with Jessica R. to create web page or pages for communication, blogging, resources on the NCS website (link to NEH website, EDSITEment, MLA Commons, etc.) Also use Suzanne F. and David R. as resources here.
     - Develop structure for resources and lesson plans using a peer review system that indicates alignment with specific standards (Common Core, AP, UK system, etc.)
     - Consider facilitating mentoring and collaborative partnerships between teachers who wish to develop their use of Chaucer’s works in the classroom.

5. Look into offering teachers professional development credit hours for attending the international congress.

6. Explore opportunities to link up with other conferences/organizations (NCTE, NAIS, MAA, etc.), and offer Chaucer­specific sessions for secondary teachers.

7. Develop 5–10  goals: What do the High School Teachers students want students to get out teaching Chaucer?  Articulate Skills / Themes especially well suited for Chaucer instruction. For example: empathy/polyphony of voices; satire/social commentary; close reading (character sketches); archetypal themes (pilgrimage, journey).

8.  NCS should actively advocate (a position statement) for using Chaucer to meet Common Core Standards (and, perhaps, skills for AP Literature and AP Language frameworks).

9. Public School travel expenses—funding possibility?

10. “Chaucer Day” at regional sites,­­schools or universities (Suzanne Hagedorn of William and Mary will do this next year  and may create a model others can emulate around the country.)