I did not like Mrs. Carter. This is important, because she was the first English teacher I decided I didn’t really care for. It wasn’t because she wasn’t good. She cared about us tremendously, employed creative means to educate us, and was always positive. But it’s important for me to know why. Continue reading →
When you teach, you reach a point at the end of the year where a blend of emotions trespass upon you and take you hostage. You are pleased to complete another year, excited at the prospects of next year’s plans, relieved that you survived various mishaps, afraid of what trials await you the following year, regretful of your mistakes, proud of the students you see moving on to their next adventures, mournful of the ones you will miss the most, tickled by the appreciation they have shown (well, some of them), but sometimes mostly empty—empty because that is your room at the end of the last day, your room for the entire summer. Continue reading →
Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5 of this year. It was around this time of year a year ago that I read a biography of his, Tree Shaker, by Bill Keller. I read this book in order to create a sample assessment for students.
When my students read The Canterbury Tales, I didn’t want to tediously read through all of the characters with them. They wouldn’t remember all of the characters that way, and it would only serve to make it less interesting to the average high school student. So I had a plan. Continue reading →
So I think now is the time to talk about guns. Now that all the fuss has died down.
I get it: Letting a flooded market of guns just saturate our culture so that people will be too afraid to shoot each other instead of anxious to shoot each other is naive.
I get it: Trying to ban all guns will just take guns away from law-abiding citizens and keep them in the hands of law-breakers and a sporadically tyrannical government, which makes it also naive. Continue reading →
“I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief.” (Job 16:2-5 | NLT)
I don’t have much to say that others have not said. What I would like to do is to direct you to some articles and blogs that I hope will help you, as they helped me, make sense of the tragedies at Sandy Hook and Chengpeng and remember what I should direct my mind and heart toward after it has passed.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Fred Rogers Continue reading →
“Our Future is the Hands of our Students”
“High Stakes and Low Standards”
“High Standards, but Low Barriers”
or “Repeal NCLB already!”
Our school systems rank toward the bottom of the list when compared with those of other industrialized countries. Sure, we may be able to brag about churning out all kinds of Nobel winners and innovators, but most of our students are graduating without the knowledge they should have, meaning that those Nobel prize winners stand on the other side of a gap too far from most of our other students. Our schools pass a lot of kids because our schools are too easy. Continue reading →
As a teacher, I feel I need to come out and say now that I am not a shadow scholar. I do not write papers for students. I have never written a paper for a student.
However, once I did completely re-write a paper for a fellow student when I was in college. It was the summer, he was taking a marketing course online, he wrote a paper describing a plan to market and sell paper towels that “open easier” because there is an opening tear strip, everyone knew it’s easy to open paper towels by poking the top hole, and he had a lot to work on in terms of grammar and mechanics besides. So I completely rewrote his paper. The trade-off: He let me cleaned the lazer tag arena for me while I “edited” the paper.