Just checking in…

So the open call for questions didn’t work.  Small audiance, and I’m not really that interesting, anyway. So okay. I finished the online Unit Design course I’ve been working on.  It required a lot of reading and prep, and then writing a four-week unit on Hamlet.  To begin with, I read Ben Crystal’s excellent Springboard Shakespeare: HamletContinue reading “Just checking in…”

Things I’m tired of: Teacher Edition

As an educator, I am really tired of both conservatives and liberals who try to tell me how to do my job, or who try to tell me what’s wrong in our schools. Get your credential, spend a few years in the classroom, then you can tell me what’s going wrong. Until then, you’re justContinue reading “Things I’m tired of: Teacher Edition”

10 (mean) Things I Wish I Could Say In Essay Comments Today

Dear Students: The following are the things I WISH I could say on your essays, but I can’t, because they are 1)mean and 2) not helpful. How is it that you’ve gotten through 11 years of education and you still can’t write a coherent sentence? You’re a senior.  Shouldn’t you have figured out commas byContinue reading “10 (mean) Things I Wish I Could Say In Essay Comments Today”

Still Working; Still Hanging On to The Dream

The new school year has begun, and with it, a concomitant uptick in my stress levels. That said, I am continuing, in both my day job teaching and in my dream job writing, to continue the drafting of The Year of Rage. When I was a college student, I referred to a lot of my postsContinue reading “Still Working; Still Hanging On to The Dream”

My Wasted Day, and the Fury it Spawned

I am so completely and utterly furious at my school administration and the district. At 9:15am, my classroom door was opened by security, who said we had to evacuate to the gym. The teachers of D wing did our best to ensure the students moved to the gym as orderly as possible. Fifteen minutes later,Continue reading “My Wasted Day, and the Fury it Spawned”

The Good Side of Teaching: A Real Note From a Student

Most of the time, teaching in the US is one of those thankless jobs where everyone pretends to respect you, but the prevailing cultural attitude is one of derision and disrespect.  I’ve written about that side of it a lot. But sometimes there’s the other side of it. On Thursday, the last day of school,Continue reading “The Good Side of Teaching: A Real Note From a Student”

Some Things To Remember About “Bad Teacher” Stories

Some things to keep in mind when people are telling stories about their horrible teachers: 1. Some of them are true. Let’s just admit that–there are some people who are bad at this job. Some know the subject well but are terrible at working with kids. Some are GREAT with kids but bubble-heads with theContinue reading “Some Things To Remember About “Bad Teacher” Stories”

10 Things I Probably Say Too Often (in my classroom)

“That sound you hear?  That’s the sound of grades plummeting.” “How can you raise your grade?  Build yourself a Time Machine, go back in time, and slap the hell out of yourself for not turning in your work.” “Writing does not require the use of your mouth.” “Focus, young padawan.” “When I said ‘Times NewContinue reading “10 Things I Probably Say Too Often (in my classroom)”

Students Then and Now

One of the things people say often when they find out I teach High School English is that they can’t imagine teaching “kids today.” To some extent, that’s generational–in many ways, students today are very similar to the students of the past.  There were always disruptive clowns in class, and there were always arrogant studentsContinue reading “Students Then and Now”