MAT students present at the National Conference of English Teachers

Photo by Hung Pham

Left to right, Seth French, Aaron Handleser, Jacob Campbell, Bailey Deloney, Johnny Allred, Kayla Peterson, Alix Ann Laws, Meredith Palmer, Sarah Gill, Genevieve Lyons and Chris Goering.

The Master of Arts in Teaching program had the opportunity to send eight pre-service educators from the University of Arkansas to attend the 2017 National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention.

The conference was held at the America Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Home to thousands of educators, administrators, authors, and other experts in the field, NCTE invites attendees to discuss, analyze, and improve English language education across the country.

Sessions ranged from author talks to research presentations to best practice models.

In addition to listening to a variety of keynote speakers and participating in session workshops, the eight MAT students, all first-time attendees, also had the opportunity to present at the conference. Along with other pre-service teachers from more than 30 other universities across the country, Jacob Campbell, Bailey Deloney, Sarah Gill, Aaron Handleloser, Alix Ann Laws, Genevieve Lyons, Meredith Palmer and Kayla Peterson presented at “The Future is Now: Exploring 21st-Century Teaching Ideas Session with the Next Generation of English Teachers.

This experience was made possible for these students largely thanks to the support of one of their professors.

“I was incredibly honored to have had the opportunity to further my teaching knowledge at NCTE,” Laws said. “Dr. Goering has worked tirelessly to find funds so that our English-speaking cohort has the opportunity to go and learn, but also to share our accumulated knowledge by presenting at roundtables.”

Chris Goering, an associate professor of English teaching at the university, also teaches these students in an English methods class during the fall semester.

“Anyone who has doubts about the future of education has yet to meet one of the eight future English teachers who attended this national conference,” Goering said. “The professionalism, energy, content expertise and teaching ability they demonstrate is incredible. I sincerely believe that by attending and presenting at this conference, on the path to earning a MAT, will serve as a springboard to propel everyone onto distinguished careers as English teachers.”

Gratitude was expressed by all the students present after the lecture.

“Thank you to everyone who made this experience possible for all of us,” Campbell said.

Support for the conference was provided by the Associated Student Government, Education Renewal Zone, and Department of Curriculum and Instruction.