ntctela :: spring 2023 :: quarterly newsletter

WELCOME :: What is "Matchsticks"?

Much like the poem, "Fire," by Judy Brown, suggests, we are able to build more "open spaces" for conversation and creation by "piling on the logs," or collaborating and innovating with our friends and colleagues. As the old song goes, it only takes a spark to get a fire going, and we definitely need a match to light our stack of ideas and community so that it can grow and warm others....

We hope each quarter to share some matchlight in our little newsletter to inspire and warm your educator hearts this year -- to grow, to change, to enlighten, to inspire others, to seek, to find, and to even ... illuminate a path forward in this now very different "normal."

"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it."

--Margaret Fuller

We are here for you, and the fire is always going.

NTCTELA Board 2022-2023


We have gone back to our original domain. Thank you for your patience as we were moving things around and getting things updated. Please check back as we continue to improve how we share information with our members!

BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT :: Christie Lambert, new President


Meet Christie!

This is Christie's 12th year in education. Currently, she serves as a Special Ed coordinator in Highland Park ISD, and she is so thankful that have the opportunity to advocate for students that can't always speak up for themselves.

When she is not working, Christie loves to spend time with her family. They have seven children, four of which are now married. They also have 4 grandchildren and 3 fur babies. They love to get a cabin in the mountains and get away with as many as possible to enjoy games, campfires, hiking, kayaking, and smores. Other than that, reading and running are Christie's favorite past-times and she most recently completed the Chicago Marathon (*wow!*).

This year, Christie is so excited to be your next NCTCELA president. She is also a member of the Texas Council Administrators of Special Education, the International Literacy Association, and the Council for Exceptional Children.

One of her favorite recent reads is Beautiful Country. She is in fact on a mission to share it with as many people as possible as she loved it that much! Some of Christie's favorite authors also include: Kate DiCamillo, Kristin Harmel, Marie Benedict, Chanel Cleeton, Jennifer Nielsen, Fiona Davis, Katherine Applegate, Kate Moore, Kristin Hannah, Sharon Robinson, Malcolm Gladwell, and Frederick Backman. Currently, she is reading the Night Diary, The Brighter the Light, and The Elephant Whisperer. She likes to do an audiobook, print book, and then adult or professional book at the same time! She's a multitasker!

Please feel free to connect with and get to know Christie Lambert!


Throughout the year, members of the board will be adding literacy-/educator-focused musings to our NTCTELA site blog. Blogs are 300 words or less, so until we have a better name, it's just the "mini-blog!" (If you have any ideas, shoot us an email!)


We are ecstatic, because we have just begun our planning for the 2023 Conference! We plan to offer an in-person experience in the immediate Dallas area, and our conference will be on June 9, 2022, from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. There will be a keynote, some breakout sessions, opportunities to get books signed and meet authors, and do a little shopping for your current shelf addiction. We will also will have door prizes and give our 2023 teaching awards out.

See the Save the Date flyer below and stay tuned for more details!

Registration will be available soon - watch your email!

Big picture

ADVOCACY :: Legislative Updates that Affect Texas Teachers

It is really hard to stay on top of legislation affecting schools, teachers and students. However, one thing that will help you catch up fairly quickly on a massive amount of legislation passed recently is the ATPE updates from Mark Wiggins, one of the state lobbyists for ATPE, who speaks at CREST each year. Try to keep yourself updated on things happening, so that we can continue to help our representatives be informed of what is important to us as educators and professionals, and for our students!

  • To see the ATPE legislative presentation at CREST, click here.
  • To see ATPE's comprehensive review on the 87th session, click here.
  • To find out more about upcoming topics in elections and candidates and their platforms, ATPE provides some great resources here.
  • To get more information about teacher professional unions or advocacy organizations in Texas, also check out resources from AFT, TSTA, TCTA, and find more links on TASB's website. Many areas also have unions specific to local or regional locations.

To review the pre-filed bills for this current 88th legislative session, this is a great place to start!

We are working on some advocacy resources for our NTCTELA members to help you stay better informed and house them on our updated website. If you'd like to help with the development and research of those resources as a volunteer, send us a message through the website!

**We are not endorsing ATPE over any other teacher advocacy organization -- but they do partner with CREST and also provide a lot of legislative updates for Texas teachers.**


Click here to read this poem from Clint Smith, "Something You Should Know," from the American Poetry Review, Vol 45 No 6.

CONNECT :: Great Sources of Fuel and Light

Pick up a moving or impactful read!

Children: The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers

YA: Ain't Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

Personal Reading: The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

Professional: Teach Like Yourself by Gravity Goldberg

Cool Peeps to Follow!

Cult of Pedagogy by Jennifer Gonzalez, Editor in Chief

Austin Kleon's Blog by artist, Austin Kleon

Pernille Ripp's Blog (from our conference Keynoter, Summer 2021!)

Seth's Blog, by Seth Godin - GREAT mentor texts!

Gravity Goldberg's Resources, Videos, and More!

NTCTELA :: Get in touch with us anytime!

Stay tuned for next quarter's "matchsticks" newsletter to warm up your inbox and bookshelves! Contact us anytime or connect with us on social media.

And join us for our annual conference on June 9, 2023, in Dallas, and check out our updated website!!