Monday, March 30, 2009

March 23, 2009-Resumes, Interviews, and Hiring

Here's some tips from last meeting's discussion about resumes, interviews, hiring, and administration shenanigans. Thanks to Will Allen for sharing the information with us.
Resume Tips:
  • Keep it to 1 page (front and back is okay)
  • Put it on nice paper – Nothing too fancy, but good quality paper that doesn't feel cheap.
  • Don't be “cute.” This is a professional document, don't put pictures of your family dog.
  • Pick one font and stick with it.
  • Make it look clean, to the point, avoid redundancy and clutter.

For work experience or sections like that, be specific.

  • List what you did while teaching.
  • Use active verbs.
  • Don't make the reader dig for information.
  • If the district has any online portion or resume database or anything, use it.

Interview Tips:

  • If you are being interviewed in a place you'd want to work, you will be given opportunity to ask questions – have a couple topics in mind to ask about.
  • He was asked a great question once, “Why are you the best principal for this school?”
  • Bring some samples of your work, but don't force feed anything. Just have a few things ready in case it comes up during the interview.
  • Be genuine above all else, try to relax and answer questions honestly.
  • “I don't know” is an okay answer, but it's a better answer if you follow it up with, “but I hope to learn about...”
  • They aren't going to expect students who are just out of college to know everything, that's okay. They don't want to hire someone who is going to lie to them, so just be honest and willing to learn. We've been learning for years, it's what we're good at, and that's great.
    The most important thing, “It's about fit.”

Remember that you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you. Sometimes you'll be perfectly qualified and you won't get hired because it's just not the right fit. Sometimes you'll be perfectly qualified and leave thinking, “I really don't want to work there!” because it's just not the right fit. Other times they will hire a young inexperienced teacher over a veteran because it's just a better fit. Don't take it personally if it just doesn't feel right. Some place else will, so don't lose hope.

Next Meeting:

"The Real World: Teachers" - Interview Experience

Louann Reid, Pam Coke, and Joshua Williams

April 6, 2009

From 6-7pm in Eddy 10

March 9, 2009-Student Teaching Panel

March 9, 2009-Student Teaching Panel

I just want to thank the other student teachers who showed up and participated on our panel! I know you all are busy and it was great you could attend!

Holly, Joy, and I participated on a student teaching panel where NCTE members could ask us questions about what it is like to be a student teacher. Thanks to the members for bringing such great questions. We were asked: what management issues have we had, what support do we get from CSU, what classes do we teach/grade levels, and many other questions. Hopefully this panel helped those of you who are student teaching soon.

If you have any questions about student teaching feel free to email me at and I would be happy to answer!

Feb. 23, 2009- "Audio Commentary"

Feb. 23, 2009- William Foster and Kimberly Fields from Front Range Community College attended our meeting and spoke to us about audio commentary. Teachers are now able to respond to students’ papers with voice instead of written comments. William and Kimberly said that in the beginning they began this program in order to “spice up their classes”. They also informed us that students prefer this method because it is fun to do and that the teacher’s tone comes across differently.

There are three different types of audio commentary that William and Kimberly told us about and those are Purevoice, Gabcast (over the phone), and Screencastomatic.

William uses Purevoice and gave us slides on how to use Purevoice. The following is from his slides:

Getting to Purevoice
  • Click on “Purevoice” and you will be directed to Purevoice “Overview,” “Benefits” and “Downloads"
  • Click on “Downloads” (He said one of the benefits is that it is a small file)

Using Purevoice

  • All you wil need, once the program is installed, is an email account and a headset with a microphone and earphones, or your own personal microphone and earphone set
  • The program is used just like an email.


  • Record your responses, just as you would on a tape recorder
  • Your tone, attitude, and emotions will be captured
  • Say more/Write less
  • The recipient can respond in the very same email!!
  • Have complete conversations as needed.
  • The recordings can be saved and archived if desired because the message comes in the form of an attachment to your email address.

Kimberly uses mostly Gabcast and Screenomatic.

Gabcast (

  • Gabcast uses Skype with microphone
  • Free login with email/password
  • Channels to help organized
  • Can do the grading straight from your phone; just watch your phone minutes.
  • There is NO privacy setting so avoid talking about grades since it gets published to the web.

Screencastomatic (

  • Use screen shots with audio comments
  • Video comments
  • Go GREEN! This means you do not have to collect papers!
  • See the following video to learn about Screencastomatic

February 9, 2009 "Video Generation"

On Feb. 9, 2009 Louann Reid came and spoke about the “Video Generation Meets Print: Helping All Reader’s Succeed”. Louann started by giving background information on today’s generation that we will be teaching.

Who is the Video Generation?

  • Born 1982-1994
  • Called Millenials

College Students today have more access to technology

  • 97% have a computer
  • 60% have some sort of portable music

Teaching for Multi-literacies

  • Use graphic organizers
  • Use multi-model texts along with more traditional tests

Graphic Novels are Motivating.
More reading means that there is more time with text which helps with student comprehension.

Louann then proceeded to show us two different graphic novels that were based on Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. We did a focalization activity where we discussed the different types of word bubbles/narration and how that changes the story; we answered the questions “who sees? Who speaks?”

She showed us some famous graphic novel titles such as Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, Maus by Art Spiegelman, and many others. Louann also answered any questions that we may have had about incorporating graphic novels into the classroom.

If you all have any questions about graphic novels and how to use them in your classroom, feel free to e-mail Louann Reid with questions at

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

News and Notes: January 28, 2009

Thank you to all who attended last weeks meeting. A special thank you to Pam Coke for speaking at our meeting. For those of you who may not know Dr. Pamela Coke, she is a faculty member in the CSU English Education area and the teacher adviser to NCTE@CSU. The list of Dr. Coke's accomplishments, awards, and general awesomeness would certainly take up a whole blog. If you would like to find out more about her, please visit the CSU English Department web page. The presentation that Dr. Coke shared with us focused on the structure of NCTE as a National organization, the benefits of becoming a member, and where we fit as student's within that organization.

A few key highlights that she mentioned about NCTE are:
  • Becoming a member of a professional community
  • Gaining new teaching ideas
  • Access to teaching conferences and conventions, author lectures, and networking
  • The opportunity to help professionalize the profession

She also discussed the NCTE state affiliate CLAS, the Colorado Language Arts Society, and their upcoming conference March 5th-8th in Denver. For graduate students, travel funds may be available through the English Department. For all members of NCTE@CSU travel funds may be available through the SLICE office here on campus. For more information on the CLAS conference visit

To wrap the up the evening we discussed what members of NCTE@CSU might like to hear about in the future. Here's the list of what we brainstormed:
  • Continuing Education Requirements (post-licensure)
  • Pro's-Con's of teachers Unions
  • What happens after I student teach: options, routes and roads
  • Writers' Workshops
  • Book Banning and Censorship
  • RTI
  • How do I get published: conference proposals, submitting to journals, etc.
  • Open session with a School Counselor
  • Dotting my i's and crossing my t's: Information session with the State Education Agency
Do you have other ideas? Please let us know at

Keep your eyes open for updates and add-ons to our blog and feel free to comment. We look forward to a great semester and to seeing you all at our next meeting. Please note the change of day and location. Meetings are now on every other Monday in Eddy Hall, room 10. See you there!

Next Meeting:
Monday, February 9, Eddy Room 10
Speaker: Dr Louann Reid
Topic: The Video Generation

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Welcome Back!

Happy New Year! School is back in full swing and we are excited to get back to our biweekly meetings. 

This week we will be meeting in Eddy 8 at 6pm. Pam Coke will be speaking about the upcoming Colorado Language Arts Society conference. ( This is a great opportunity to find out more about what is going on in our own back yard.

As always there will be food for mind and belly. 

Email us with any questions @  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday October 15 Meeting

Exciting news! Our t-shirts are in! We have short sleeve shirts for fifteen dollars, with the NCTE logo on the front and "Caution: Corrects Grammar!" on the back. If you are prone to chilliness - or aren't a fan of flaunting your grammatical prowess - we have long sleeve tees for twenty dollars, also with the NCTE logo but with "Been There Read That" on the back. You can purchase both together for thirty. Both options are available for purchase at meetings, payable in cash to Nick, our treasurer.

Tonight's meeting featured a speaker from the League of Women Voters - a non-partisan (not affiliated with any party) organization dedicated to educating the public on the issues surrounding elections.

The league of women voters is a grassroots organization. At the local level the LWV focuses on particular issues relevant to the Fort Collins and northern Colorado community. Located at the city, county, and state level. National issues that the LWV focuses on include immigration, campaign finance reform, global climate change, health care reform and civil liberties. More information on most ballot issues can be researched at vote

All NCTE members received a ballot issues booklet, which covers statutes and amendments, including Amendment 59 - regarding educational funding and TABOR rebate:
If passed, Amendment 59 would revoke the limit on spending and would suspend the rebate to taxpayers beginning in 2011. This amendment would allow the state to collect that money and put it into a state education fund, and would revoke amendment 23, an established provision for a steady increase in pupil funding.

Upcoming local meetings of the League of Women Voters in our area are:

Oct. 16: 7pm Meeting on Amendment 46 (Loveland Public Library 300 n. Adams)

Oct. 20: 9:30 – 11am Public Ballot Issue Presentation explaining and giving pros and cons on the ballot issues (Plymouth Congregational Church, 916 W. Prospect in Fort Collins)

Oct. 23: 7 – 8:30pm Public Ballot Issue Presentation explaining and giving pros and cons on the ballot issues (Fort Collins Main Public Library, 201 Peterson in Fort Collins)