"Like" us on Facebook and stay connected to your CATE community.
CATE Professional Writing Contest for Teachers and Educators
The pendulum swings back and forth in defining educational trends; many ideas recycle during one's teaching career, reflecting the values of the time. Now in the era of Common Core Standards, teachers once again are exploring ways to motivate their students to strive toward college and career goals while making connections and working together. Use a personal example to describe a time in your classroom (or a classroom you have observed) when students successfully worked together on a project that meets Common Core Standards.
Deadline for entries: August 31, 2013
Include writer's name, address, phone number, school and district
Articles limited to 1,500 words
Email manuscripts to Olga Kokino at
First Place: one CATE annual convention registration, plus publication in California English and on CATEweb.org
Second Place: one CATE membership, plus publication on Cateweb.org
2012 CATE Professional Writing Contest Winners
"Looking for Loveliness"— Thomas Roddy, Jr.
Manual Arts High School
Los Angeles Unified School District
Remembering Nancy McHugh for the Future
from Bill Younglove
Nancy McHugh shared so much of her 87 years of living with the Southern California community, but also statewide (was CATE president 1978-80), and even nationally (NCTE president 1986-87). For many years, at conferences, when I would bump elbows with Nancy, and intone, "So, whatsup with you Valleygals?" (She taught at Chatsworth and Grant High Schools in Van Nuys, as well as at University High.), she would deadpan back, "And with you Flatlanders?" In Valley spirit, Nancy, during the raucous sixties, righteously challenged school officials who seemed to think that her son's hair length was more important than what was being put into his head.
If Nancy had any downtime, I never saw it. Indeed, she earned a couple of M.A.s to follow up her Smith College English Literature major. Additionally, she was one of the earliest female NCTE presidents and one of the few NCTE heads to remain a fulltime classroom teacher during her tenure. She actively promoted women's roles in the organization, particularly the hiring of an Executive Secretary. She also advised WILLA (The Women in Literature and Life Assembly), while heading up many various committee chairs herself.
Nancy's contributions to LAUSD were extensive: obtaining funds to run a writing project, publishing materials which developed curriculum, shared nationwide; and exploring new teaching methods. It was her stands, her firm beliefs, however, for which I shall remember her most. She felt that the teaching of English must be inclusive—of the immigrant cultural experience as well as in international gatherings. She helped to create a place for middle school teachers' and two-year college instructors' involvements in NCTE. She fought censorship and even "media fixation," which both usurped the students' rights—and their proclivities—to read. And one of my favorites—and phrased in a typically McHughesque way: "How can we prove that class size does make a difference?"
After everything was said, though, Nancy felt NCTE's future would be evolutionary; not revolutionary. Having a seat at the table was what counted. Still—and this is the voice that will be missed most, I think—Nancy flatly stated for our teaching futures, "Decreased funding for education is a national disgrace." Yes, on the shoulders of a giant such as Nancy McHugh, thankfully, do many of us presently stand.
CATE (California Association of Teachers of English) is a non-profit organization promoting communication, collaboration, and educational knowledge among all responsible for teaching English and the language arts. All California English teachers are encouraged to join.
Welcome to CATEweb, the official website of the California Association of Teachers of English. It is our hope that this website can serve as a resource for English teachers throughout the state who are looking for more information about our organization, searching for good teaching ideas, hunting for analysis of a particular educational bill or policy, or just hoping to find friends and colleagues who share similar interests.
Please e-mail us with any suggestions you have to make this site more useful to the K-college English teacher. The CATE Board of Directors, composed of 35 people throughout the state, welcomes your questions and advice. Please use this directory to reach us.