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The 2019 TCNJ Summer Institute for English Language Arts Educators

The English Department at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is offering a summer institute for English language arts teachers on “Teaching Poetry (without Fear).”  The four-day institute provides 20 hours of professional development, covers a wide range of topics, and is taught by TCNJ English Department faculty.

For More information about pricing: Summer Institute Flyer 2019
(Registration is limited to the first 20 paid participants)

Register here:

For more information about registration, contact George Hefelle (
For more information about the institute’s curriculum, contact Glenn Steinberg ( 

The English Department

The English Department at TCNJ boasts 21 full-time faculty with expertise in literature from Homer to Toni Morrison.  Faculty approach literary study from a variety of theoretical foundations, including feminism, gender and sexuality studies, ecocriticism, reception and reader-response theory, new historicism, and postcolonial studies.  Faculty publications include books from Iowa University Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Routledge, Princeton University Press, Indiana University Press, Cornell University Press, and the University of Minnesota Press, as well as articles in Modern Philology, Comparative Drama, Quaker Studies, PMLA, Radical Teacher, Auto/Biography Studies, American Drama, and many more. English faculty have also published in three of the Modern Language Association’s Approaches to Teaching volumes.

Graduates of the English Department are a highly accomplished and energetic group. Each year, school districts in New Jersey, New York , and Pennsylvania hire dozens of teachers trained in the English Department, often commenting on the high level of preparation that they have received. Other graduates have found an array of satisfying careers in publishing, advertising, media relations, the pharmaceutical and financial industries, and in both the state and federal government. In recent years, our graduates have studied law at such schools as Georgetown, Yale, William and Mary, Michigan, and Rutgers. They have earned advanced degrees in language and literature from NYU, Princeton, UNC-Chapel Hill, Indiana, Maryland, UPenn, and the University of Chicago.

The Summer Institute- July 15-18, 2019

Each day of the institute follows the same schedule:

9:00-9:30am – check-in and light breakfast (provided)

9:30-11:30am – morning workshop

11:30am-12:30pm – lunch (not provided; but several lunch venues are steps away, and out facility has tables and chairs for those who bring a bag lunch)

12:30-1:30pm – regrouping with the Secondary Education Coordinator

1:30-3:30pm – afternoon workshop

Complimentary copies of the main texts for the workshops will be provided to participants.

Institute Goals

While each day of the institute features its own specific goals, the institute as a whole has been designed so that participants will

  • develop greater confidence teaching poetry;
  • understand and appreciate poetic texts as literature;
  • expand their own critical repertoire and be able to deploy that expanded critical toolkit in designing and delivering material to their students;
  • participate in a community of teachers that promotes curiosity and inquiry and that offers mentorship from experts in poetry, the English language, and pedagogy.

Throughout the week, participants are provided with specific examples of how teaching poetry (without fear!) aligns with the New Jersey Student Learning Goals for English Language Arts: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language (6-12).

Day 1: Poetry Tool Kit by Prof. Diane Steinberg

Day 2: Practicing Confidence Through Approaching the Unknown: Contemporary Poetry in the Middle and High School Classroom by Prof. Laura Neuman

Day 3: Sonnets: New Takes on an Old Form by Prof. Jo Carney

Day 4: Language and Poetry: from the Page to the Stage by Prof. Felicia Jean Steele