I’m Teacher of the Year!

One of my favorite plays is Much Ado About Nothing.  In it, Benedick rails on and on about how he will never fall for a woman because no such woman exists in whom he could be interested.  When his friends fool him into falling for Beatrice he says: I may chance have some odd quirksContinue reading “I’m Teacher of the Year!”

Teaching the Research Paper – A Practical Approach

I have taught English at the 11th grade level for over ten years and quite frankly I have been through many different plans when teaching students how to write a research paper. In my opinion, the research paper (namely a paper using source material for support) should be taught to students much earlier in theirContinue reading “Teaching the Research Paper – A Practical Approach”

Back to School – Fresh Paint and Fresh Ideas

Monday is the first day of school for my students, but I have been at the school for seven working days.  Thursday and Friday of last week my awesome wife came to my classroom (at my request) and put a fresh coat of paint on my classroom walls.  I asked her if I could payContinue reading “Back to School – Fresh Paint and Fresh Ideas”

For the Teachers: 5 Awesome Websites!

School starts back in a few weeks for me, and I spent the summer attending some really cool conferences (mostly Advanced Placement).  One of the most important things I discovered at these conferences was the websites that the teachers use to enhance their classroom learning environment.  Sure, you could pay some website a lot ofContinue reading “For the Teachers: 5 Awesome Websites!”

Teaching: Why It Is Not What It Used To Be

Today’s letter on the A to Z Blogging Challenge is “T”, and if there is something that has been on my mind lately it is teaching.  A few weeks ago, a retiring teacher Gerald Conti posted to Facebook about the teaching profession as it stands today.  The letter went viral.  In it, Conti cited theContinue reading “Teaching: Why It Is Not What It Used To Be”

Language Is Not Learned In Whole But In Part

As an English teacher I have noticed that there is one method of teaching children to read that needs to be completely eradicated from every elementary curriculum in the country: the whole language reading method.  The Whole Language method that is often taught in elementary is a method of sending large lists of “sight words”Continue reading “Language Is Not Learned In Whole But In Part”

Common Core Reading Simplified

Since today’s blog must begin with the letter “C”, I must write about the newest craze in education: Common Core State Standards. I have been teaching reading and writing for 15 years and for most of that time I was given a set of standards by the State of Oklahoma called the PASS guidelines.  TheseContinue reading “Common Core Reading Simplified”

Teaching Students to Be Wolves

Today is the first day of teaching the research paper and I must say I am completely hoarse.  All of my classes are working on one in some form or other, and I am doing my best to make the process as easy as possible for them to understand.  The thing is, it shouldn’t beContinue reading “Teaching Students to Be Wolves”

Generous Benefactors: Why Must Sports Get All The Money?

Today I read a story from the Los Angeles Times about Helen Zell, wife of billionaire Sam Zell who just donated $50 million to the University of Michigan for creative writing programs.  I applaud the Zell’s for their generosity, but this is very rare in the world of philanthropy. Most of the philanthropic efforts beingContinue reading “Generous Benefactors: Why Must Sports Get All The Money?”

Happy National Grammar Day

On National Grammar Day I would like to list the top five grammar mistakes that I see as a teacher of English.  I have seen many mistakes over the years but the following five are the most common. 1.  Comma Faults – This error not only includes the comma splice which consists of two completeContinue reading “Happy National Grammar Day”