President’s Welcome

Michelle Best, OCTELA President

It is far too easy to become overwhelmed with today’s educational expectations: TBTs, BLTs, DLTs, RTI, FIP, learning targets, ever changing curriculum maps, and data, Data, DATA! Keeping up with the current requirements while maintaining the creative, passionate heart of an educator is more exhausting than ever. So how do we keep going?

One of the most powerful tools in any teacher’s arsenal is to surround oneself with positive people who love what they do. You reflect what you absorb! Finding strength and inspiration from others around you can be like offering a wondering soul in the desert a much needed drink of water. You feel restored, refreshed, and rejuvenated. This is what positive professional relationships provide. Once you are surrounded by positive people, you are able to spread your wings and find others like you around the country.

All successful professionals learn the importance of developing strong and diverse networks. Stepping outside of one’s classroom and making connections in other districts opens windows of possibilities and doors of opportunities. Teachers are continuous learners. Finding your tribe will connect you to people, resources, and professional development experiences that will change how you view the ever-changing teaching profession.

It is vital to stay up-to-date with the legislation that is impacting your career. Yet, this becomes a daunting task when teachers are already so strapped for time. Lucky for Ohio’s English and ELA teachers, we have an organization like OCTELA available to us. OCTELA keeps its membership on the cusp of legislative decisions as well as provides a network of positive, creative educators. Membership in this state affiliate of NCTE also gives you access to our newsletter, Ohio Voices; our journal, Ohio Journal of English Language Arts; our brand new website, and timely information about our annual spring conference.

OCTELA is the support system that today’s teacher needs; a one-stop lifeline to resources and people that will make a difference in your career. Take some time and look around our website. We are sure you will find what you are looking for! Welcome to an organization that feels like home filled with people who truly care.

Michelle Best