Monday, March 22, 2010

Congratulations, Philippa Stratton--NCTE's Outstanding Language Arts Educator

I was thrilled when I heard that Philippa Stratton is this year's Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts. This award is given each year by NCTE's Elementary Section Steering Committee. The recipient is celebrated at the Annual Convention's Elementary Get-Together--a great way to kick-off the conference each year.

Every year, when the NCTE Outstanding Language Arts Educator is named by the Elementary Steering Committee, I want to cheer! Every one of them has impacted my learning and thinking in some way. We are so lucky in the field of elementary literacy to learn from so many amazing people.

This year's award winner, Philippa Stratton, is the editorial director at Stenhouse Publishers. We LOVE Philippa. Mary Lee and I both know her through our work with Stenhouse but, before we began writing and before we knew Philippa, we learned so much because of all that she did for our learning as teachers. The announcement on the NCTE website states, "In many ways, Philippa essentially created the idea of the 'professional book' for teachers, an innovation that has had an enormous impact on how teachers learn and view themselves as professionals for nearly three decades." Philippa has worked with many authors including Donald Graves, Lucy Calkins, Ralph Fletcher, Georgia Heard, Harvey Daniels, Stephanie Harvey, Marie Clay, and Regie Routman.

Anyone who has worked with Philippa feels very lucky to have worked with her. She seems to bring out the best in people and has worked her whole life to bring the voices of teachers out into the world. Her belief in teachers and teachers as learners and professionals drives all that she does. And the philosophy she has about classrooms is clear in all of her work. If you have ever read a professional book, you've most likely been impacted by Philippa. I have learned more from professional books and teacher-authors than I have learned from anything else throughout my teaching career. Before Twitter and Facebook, these professional books connected me with the people who were thinking about the same things I was thinking about in the classroom. These professional authors became my first Professional Learning Network--one that I continue to rely on.

Can you imagine the world as teachers without professional books as we know them? Can you imagine your classroom without the influence of people like Regie Routman, Donald Graves, Lucy Calkins and Ralph Fletcher? Can you imagine your professional life without the anticipation of the next professional book that will help you grow as a teacher? I certainly can't. Philippa has had an incredible influence on my work and the work of almost every teacher I know. Her work has helped us stay grounded in what we believe and helped us to trust ourselves as learners and professionals for the last 3 decades.

I can't wait to join in the celebration at NCTE's Annual Convention in Orlando this coming November! I am pretty sure it will be a standing-room-only event!


  1. What wonderful news! Philippa was incredibly important to me as the editor of my second book, Far Away and Long Ago. She is amazing and this award is well deserved.

  2. Philippa is very deserving of the award! Your post is a reminder of all she has done for us as professional educators.


Comment moderation is turned on.