Teaching New Genres: The PSA in ELA Class

by Jessica S. Early

I was filled with anxiety and hesitation before attending this year’s NCTE annual conference. After living through a global pandemic and growing increasingly familiar with Zoom meetings, I was nervous about gathering with so many people again. NCTE had not convened in person for two years and, like many English language arts teachers and teacher educators from around the country, I didn’t know what to expect. But what we found was a renewed sense of connectivity and inspiration.

Thousands of English teachers traveled from throughout the United States and beyond to learn from one another and from poets, authors, and scholars. We were gathered in the convention center in Anaheim, California, to do what we have always done as a profession: celebrate and grow in our work. However, what felt unique about this gathering was that we were also there to heal after experiencing the shared trauma of living and teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a time of heightened social and political unrest.

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