Letter From the Interim Director
On January 1, Dr. Dominique Chlup stepped down as TCALL’s Center Director to focus exclusively on her teaching and scholarship as a full-time adult education professor here at Texas A&M. While the search continues for the next Center Director, I am now acting as Interim Director of TCALL in addition to directing the Clearinghouse Project. This is not news to those of you who subscribe to one of TCALL’s email discussion lists. I am grateful for the many messages of support that I received when Dominique announced the transition via listservs in December. Likewise, Dominique was touched by receiving numerous messages of appreciation for her 3-1/2 years of dedicated service to TCALL. I’m sure you join the staff of TCALL in wishing Dr. Chlup the best in her academic pursuits, and we look forward to our paths crossing frequently in the future.
This issue of TCALL’s quarterly publication brings another transition – the change in name from Literacy Links to Texas Adult & Family Literacy Quarterly. At last summer’s conference unveiling the Texas Adult Education Content Standards and Benchmarks, we began the name change process by asking attendees to suggest new names for the publication. In the November 2007 issue, readers were asked to vote among the top three suggested names. TCALL offered a modest prize to the person who nominated the winning name, but since the winning name was anonymously suggested, we instead chose a prizewinner by drawing from among the readers who voted to choose Texas Adult & Family Literacy Quarterly. Congratulations to the winner, Alice Gayle of Fort
Bend ISD! And thank you to all our readers who participated by suggesting a name and by voting.
With this first issue of The Quarterly and those to come, TCALL hopes to continue serving the adult and family literacy community in our state with relevant, timely, and interesting articles and information. We also ask our readers to help us continually improve the quality and usefulness of this publication by responding to a reader feedback survey. Please visit TCALL’s Website, where you will find in the home page “What’s New” box a link to The Quarterly reader survey, which will be available through the end of April.
For this Teacher Spotlight issue, we thank Clearinghouse Advisory Committee member Tiffany Johnson for serving as Guest Editor. See Tiffany’s letter, below. In addition to articles on the Teacher Spotlight theme, Ken Appelt follows his November 2007 article on the terminology of content standards with a related article, “Putting the Content Standards and Benchmarks to Work.” Ken’s article is paired with a content standards-based ESL lesson plan selected from the online Lesson Plan Bank that is just one of the Texas Adult Education Content Standards and Benchmarks resources found on TCALL’s Website. We hope you enjoy reading the first issue of Texas Adult & Family Literacy Quarterly.
Harriet Vardiman Smith
Acting Interim Director of TCALL
The topic for this issue is a Teacher Showcase. This means that we asked teachers for their stories of teaching, their special techniques, and ideas they would like to share with others. We all have our tales of how we wandered in to the field of adult education. I often tell my students who are pondering various career choices that it doesn’t matter what path they take as long as they have the courage and the means to continue looking for what type of career makes them happy. I never told my parents, “When I grow up, I want to teach criminals how to write five-paragraph essays.” However, fate has brought me a career that I love.
Brenda Dunlap and Debbie Janysek contribute articles that describe how their teaching practice has benefited from the process of earning their Texas Adult Education Teacher Credential. Karen Greer and Vicki Angel’s articles focus on a cool way to use our own background, creativity, and student challenges to provide our students with the best education possible. Nancy Meredith and Joan Mishra’s articles look at a fantastic new way to bring learning into a classroom, describing how each took an idea, molded it, and made it her own. Dora Espericueta, Rebecca Hastings, and Kathleen Simmons’ articles share shining moments that are an inspiration to us all. Deborah A. Mulvany focuses on the importance of building learner confidence and hope. Lester Meriwether writes of his experiences both as a tutor in a church-based literacy program and in encouraging churches and other faith groups to help meet literacy needs. His article is followed by a letter from ESL teacher Paul D. Gonsalez and his 26 students, expressing thanks to members of San Antonio’s Windcrest United Methodist Church for their generosity in hosting adult English language classes.
We congratulate these literacy educators, and all of you who put the spotlight on adult learners every day in your classrooms.
Adult Education Instructor and Coordinator
Victoria County Jail