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Resources for English Teachers

Since teachers are the educators of tomorrow’s youth, they must be active learners in their daily experiences and research to ensure that high school students are prepared for college and the real world.

  • One of the most popular sites for information and further resources for teaching English in the school systems is the site organized and operated by the National Council for Teachers of English. With a membership, they offer publications such as journals, books and electronic items, tools for professional development such as conferences and online help, and programs and collections of resources in different areas of English to use in the classroom.  
  • Many states also have websites designed for teachers or prospective teachers to research qualifications, job listings and other important information teaching in that state. South Carolina’s Department of Education Web site presents top news, topics in education, and linked pages specific to parents, students and educators for resources and questions.
    • SC Department of Education
    • ADEPT--South Carolina's resource for "assisting, developing, and evaluating professional teaching" based on professional standards.
  • Teachers can also join many organizations and institutions related to teaching and this specific subject area, such as English Language Arts. Like the NCTE, membership is required for special access to the pages, but each group offers its own array of journals, conferences and other teaching resources and materials.  
  • The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement (CERRA) (http://www.cerra.org/) is a website where you can go to find out openings in South Carolina for teachers. You can also fill out an electronic application on this site. The purpose of CERRA is to provide leadership in identifying, attracting, placing and retaining well-qualified individuals for the teaching profession in our state. In doing so, CERRA will respond to changing needs for teachers from underrepresented populations, in critical subject fields and in under-served geographical areas in South Carolina. The Center will work cooperatively with other organizations to promote the teaching profession.

Web Sites for Lesson Planning and Course Development

The internet is a great place for English teachers to go for resources. Some examples include the following:

  • EDSITEment--Hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this site offers a clearinghouse of well-research lesson plans and online learning supplements designed to promote active learning and the use of high-quality, primary sources in humanities courses.
  • Teaching Tolerance--Administered by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance provides a database of diversity-related lesson plans and classroom resources, as well as a magazine and newsletter for educators, an opportunity for teachers to submit their lesson plans for publication, and a grants program for enhancing diversity-based education in the schools.
  • Web English Teacher--Compiled by English teacher, Carla Beard, the site compiles links to online resources about common skills, topics, authors, and text in English classes.
  • TESL-EJ: The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language--Online, peer-reviewed journal with articles, book and media reviews, teacher education and resources for English language learners.
  • Stephanie Watson's article, "The Importance of the Pedagogy Process" (published in Nebula June 2005) gives great advice on teaching writing as a process, including sample lessons and assignments.
  • The Alliance for for Excellent Education Issue Brief from September 2007 discusses "High School Teaching for the Twenty-First Century: Preparing Students for College," including advice on specific skills and assignments to help improve college readiness in high school students.
  • The National Center on English Learning & Achievement has produced "Guidelines for Teaching Middle and High School Students to Read and Write Well: Six Features of Effective Instruction." This detailed brochure includes lists of activities that do and do not work (based on extensive education research), as well as classroom examples from schools throughout the US.
  • The US Department of Education's site, Doing What Works: Research-based Education Practices Online offers examples of what works with video and audio interviews with teachers and experts. See the general principles, lists of effective strategies, and "Site Profiles" featuring schools throughout the US and the materials and approaches they used to improve in adolescent literacy or other educational areas.
  • The Center on English Learning & Achievement (CELA) is a source of research reports, articles, and resources for teachers of literature, reading, writing, and literacy. It also refers users to helpful articles, such as Jane Agee's "What Is Effective Literature Instruction? A Study of Experienced High School English Teachers in Differing Grade- and Ability-Level Classes," which is available on the USC Upstate library shelves in the Journal of Literacy Research (2000).
  • http://www.readwritethink.org/ shares classroom resources, lesson plans sorted by grade level, parent and afterschool activities, and professional development activities for teachers. The site is sponsored by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Google Lit Trips allow students to travel through books on Google Earth maps with educational notations that help them learn. Teachers can find instructions for making their own lit trip at the techknowteach wiki.
  • Help students "see" the connections between related words and their meanings at Visuwords, the online graphical dictionary. Enter a word to see related words with a map of the ways they are related. A similar service with a slightly different look is available at Lexipedia.
  • At Free Rice students can develop vocabulary while donating rice to end world hunger through the World Food Programme. It makes vocabulary lessons a game, and students can compete to see who can reach the highest level.
  • Quizlet offers a good study guide, self-test, as well as games to test students on words or concepts. Teachers can write their own lists of terms and tests, and thousands of existing quizlets are available. Before using an existing quizlet, do check the definitions provided as some might not fit the definitions being taught in all classes.
  • Reading Rocketsoffers classroom strategies, podcasts, research, reading guides, and other resources for helping struggling readers learn and improve. The site is sponsored by WETA, Washington's educational television station.

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