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Four Westfield State University students participate in national teaching convention

Four Westfield State University students participated in the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual convention in St. Louis, in November.

Through the benefit of travel scholarships and funding by the Westfield State Foundation and Group—Seed Money for Academic or Research Travel for Students, the students attended panels and participated in workshops and discussions with professionals in K–12 English education.

“The students met the scholars whom we read in our English Education courses for two years, to ask them questions, and to participate in conversations with teachers and teacher educators and authors from across the United States,” said Associate Professor and Coordinator of English Education Sophia Sarigianides, Ph.D., who accompanied the students to the convention. “The effect of this experience is extraordinary as it shows new teachers what it looks like to be committed to a profession that takes its work so seriously.”

Senior English majors Erin Slayton, of Hanson, Mass., and Lilly Whalen, from Plymouth, Mass., made presentations at the Conference. Slayton shared her work, titled “Revolutionizing Grammar! Standard English through a Pedagogical Lens,” while Whalen presented “Peer Editing Mash-up: Bringing High School Peer-editing to New Heights.” Michelle Soel, a post-baccaulaureate student from Wilmington, Mass., and senior Hannah Miller, an English major from Chicopee, Mass., also attended.

Slayton called the NCTE convention a “remarkable experience. As a student teacher, I was awed by the dedication of my fellow teachers and felt incredibly reassured to know that I have such a strong support system and network to use,” said Slayton. “I returned home feeling a renewed sense of inspiration and eagerness to implement my new knowledge and understandings into a classroom of my own.”

This was the 13th consecutive year that Westfield State University students have attended the NCTE annual convention.