NCTE: National Council of Teachers of English [www.ncte.org]
English Journal is a fantastic publication! I love it. This is my favorite one, so that’s why I’m writing about it first.
Page for page, the articles are interesting, stick close to the theme of the issue, and offer methods and practices in clear language. I don’t know if that’s a prerequisite for the journal, but the articles are easy to read. It’s also a very well-designed journal. Blocks of text are relieved by charts and drop quotes, section titles in boldface, end notes, and assorted "bits and bobs" such as "EJ 75 Years Ago". Those reflection sections remind me of one of my favorite paradoxes: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
NCTE also provides ENGLISH JOURNAL online, but you have to be a member to access the actual articles. Middle (junior high/middle school) membership runs $40.00 plus the prices of the journals. This one is $25.00 per year.
Every month, there’s a new theme. One of my favorite issues is May 2006: Contexts for Teaching Grammar. This month’s theme (July 2009) is "For The Fun of It". Topics range from lesson plans for immediate implementation to big picture issues like professional development (Nov. 2005). The covers are often a treat, as well. A sublime glass creation by Dale Chihuly, or a photo of a waterfall with colors so vivid you can feel the mist on your skin. A playground with a jungle gym or a page from a hand-drawn manuscript. And the articles are not the only resource. Every one has a works cited list. The journal has its share of adverts. They publish poetry, book reviews, and opportunities to participate in research. The beginning of the journal has a page describing all the contributions they are accepting. There are so many opportunities for teachers to contribute: classroom practices, research, book reviews, photography, cartoons, poetry — that relate to the theme of the issue. Don’t forget — as a teacher of English, you should be writing for yourself and for your profession. Getting published is exciting and makes you marketable.
Every teacher of English/Language Arts/Writing/Creative Writing/Honors English, even Reading, should invest in this particular journal in order to be a better teacher and a better professional.