What happens when you mix English teachers and actor Tom Hanks?

What happens when you mix English teachers and actor Tom Hanks? Ask faculty member, Mr. Josh Anderson '99, who recently represented Cardinal Stritch at the 2023 NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English conference. The NCTE advocates for English teachers and students and provides networking opportunities, professional development, and resources. Thousands of teachers descended upon Columbus, Ohio, to enhance learning opportunities in English language arts.

The keynote speaker for the NCTE conference was Tom Hanks, the famous actor and writer. Mr. Anderson was thrilled to have the opportunity to hear Mr. Hanks speak about the importance of education, the influence of his teachers on him, and how he uses the skills he learned in his English classes in his different roles. Mr. Anderson was excited to be one of only 400 people at the conference who could get an autographed copy of Tom Hanks's new novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece.

During his time at the NCTE conference, Mr. Anderson had the opportunity to attend cutting-edge discussions on the use of AI (artificial intelligence) in the classroom, ways to expand student reading through the use of role-playing games, and some of the latest publications and tools that are appearing to help teachers in the classroom.

Mr. Anderson commented about the conference, "There were two opportunities that will stand out in my mind forever from this opportunity. The first was hearing Tom Hanks speak on the importance of teachers. And two, to have the opportunity to sit on a panel and discuss an aspect of teaching I am passionate about with my colleagues." Mr. Anderson had the opportunity to discuss, through a panel, how he views being able to discuss real-world examples with students in the classroom for the skills they learn in their English classes. He brings his life experiences from his pre-teaching careers in IT and non-profit work to the class, using examples to highlight how the students learn skills that they will utilize in the workplace.

Mr. Anderson was excited to return to the classroom at Stritch. Armed with new ideas and invigorated with the exciting trends in English education, he is ready to work with his fellow teachers to improve Stritch's English department and make it a place of growth and empowerment for the students.