The Plight of a Red State Teacher

I have watched the direction in which our GOP dominated legislature and governor are leading the state regarding education and I am feeling rather hopeless. It’s not just in my state, but public education is in trouble in every red state in the union.

6 Ways Schools Are Failing Your Kids

I’ve been teaching now for over 20 years. I teach with love and rigor, have had a lot of success with helping students achieve greatness, but am often frustrated with the things that schools think are so important about education. In my experience, these are the things for which most schools are serious: Testing –Continue reading “6 Ways Schools Are Failing Your Kids”

Proof That Writing Rubrics in Oklahoma Are Designed to Fail Your Kids

I’ve been an English teacher for over 20 years. I know how to teach students to write essays. It is in my blood. I can usually take any student from a mediocre writer or a poor writer to a functional writer. I have worked in districts with zero vertical team and a micromanaging vertical team.Continue reading “Proof That Writing Rubrics in Oklahoma Are Designed to Fail Your Kids”

AP Teachers: Why You Should Be An AP Reader

I sit in the hotel lobby of the Westin Crown Center, a hotel in downtown Kansas City, waiting for my roommate to arrive in the lobby so we can see each other off.  Larry will board a flight for Chicago where he teaches in a private school and I’ll go back home to teach inContinue reading “AP Teachers: Why You Should Be An AP Reader”

Short Film Illustrates Oklahoma Educator’s Plight

A friend of mine brought the following short film to my attention.  It is called “The Expert”, and is representative of what teachers in the state of Oklahoma are faced with each day.  If one sees the two women in the film as our legislature, the man at the head of the table as ourContinue reading “Short Film Illustrates Oklahoma Educator’s Plight”

Oklahoma State Educators Rally at the Capital

Today was historic, at least I hope it was.  If it was not, then next time we will get 50,000 educators, parents and administrators to rally at the capital.  Let’s hope they listened to us. As I write this, Oklahoma is 48th in the nation in average pupil funding, 49th in teacher pay.  We areContinue reading “Oklahoma State Educators Rally at the Capital”

An AP Teacher’s Thoughts on AP

I have thought for some time about Advanced Placement and its worth in an education system that is increasingly using the internet to educate students.  I think more and more about the worth of Advanced Placement courses, as to whether they are useful anymore, and recently I have been going through some soul searching aboutContinue reading “An AP Teacher’s Thoughts on AP”

The Unseen Connection of Reading to Writing

I am an English teacher by trade, and once in a while I make an observation about my students that could be the basis for a study about writing students everywhere. In an article entitled I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read Francine Prose posits that the reason that students have an aversion to reading or simplyContinue reading “The Unseen Connection of Reading to Writing”

How To Teach Writing Students Not To Use Colloquial Diction

One of the worst problems plaguing high school writers is their misunderstanding that when writing a formal essay they must use formal diction.  It is probably one of the largest hurdles any writing teacher will have to vault their students over, and most times it feels like they are weighed down with years of beingContinue reading “How To Teach Writing Students Not To Use Colloquial Diction”

An Essay

The following is the essay I wrote for the Teacher of the Year selection process.  Again, I thank all of my fellow teachers who voted for me. To Emulate the Gardener Henry Adams, President Lincoln’s ambassador to London, once said “a teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops”. Think of allContinue reading “An Essay”