How to Produce a School Yearbook Cheaply Through Createspace

I just finished my fourteenth year of teaching English at the high school level and look forward to a fifteenth.  I think back to when I started, and how I was roped in to teaching a yearbook class because I really needed the job and thought that if I took on some electives, it wouldContinue reading “How to Produce a School Yearbook Cheaply Through Createspace”

The Last Day of School: A Retrospective

I am a high school English teacher with four children attending elementary school.  Two of them are graduating to the middle school next year and the other two will climb the ladder to the fourth and second grades, respectively.  I am currently spending my time updating the inventory of books in my classroom, squaring awayContinue reading “The Last Day of School: A Retrospective”

5 Things To Do With High School Students After the English EOI Test

It’s the end of the school year.  We have about two weeks left.  The students have finished end of instruction testing, and are beginning to act like squirrels with A.D.H.D.  School days are filled with activities like the seniors versus faculty basketball game, awards assemblies, choir trips, field trips and other things that take studentsContinue reading “5 Things To Do With High School Students After the English EOI Test”

Online Schooling: A Backdoor Plan to Lay Off Teachers

Online schooling seems to be the buzzword around  public schools nationwide.  Oklahoma state superintendent Janet Barresi (R) has mandated that every school K-12 offer at least 5 courses online.  These courses will be accessible at home by students, effectively allowing them to stay at home and still gain credits toward a diploma. I ask: HowContinue reading “Online Schooling: A Backdoor Plan to Lay Off Teachers”

Feeding Squirrels: Taking AP Students to Do Research at a College Library

Yesterday I took my AP students to the University of Oklahoma Bizzell Library to do research for their critical perspectives paper.  Their assignment is to read a canonized novel of their choosing and then write an analytical research paper viewing that text through a critical lens (i.e. Marxist, Feminist, New Historical). Each year I take a groupContinue reading “Feeding Squirrels: Taking AP Students to Do Research at a College Library”

The Whole Novel Method: Teaching Students to Think

I have discovered a way to teach novels or literature while teaching writing that best balances the learning experience for English students and gives us the tools to succeed in keeping with the Common Core Standards (CCS).  I did not come up with this method on my own, but found out about it through aContinue reading “The Whole Novel Method: Teaching Students to Think”

Back On the Horse, But Not At a Full Gallop

I’m out of the woods with the bronchitis, and it has given me a great load of time to think about what I’ll do once I get back to school and try to wrangle my students right before spring break is ticked off the calendar. I basically had a bronchitis break from school as IContinue reading “Back On the Horse, But Not At a Full Gallop”

Getting Into College: Sports or Academics

; As a teacher, I have many students who are also athletes who struggle so hard to be very good at their chosen sport as well as work very hard academically to make the grade. My hat is off to these students who as a whole are forced to work harder at academics because ofContinue reading “Getting Into College: Sports or Academics”

Teacher Pay Raises: Breaking the Stigma

I have been teaching English in a public high school for 13 years.  We stopped getting our step raise as of 5 years ago and my wife and our four children have been living off of that salary, watching the cost of living go up by the day in this country.  I read a storyContinue reading “Teacher Pay Raises: Breaking the Stigma”

Common Core Standards: Requiring Students to Think

  As an English teacher in Oklahoma, I have been under the failed No Child Left Behind rules for some time now.  Recently, NCLB was “forgiven” for my state by the president.  I guess this means that we are not to be held accountable by the federal government if a student is truly “left behind.” Continue reading “Common Core Standards: Requiring Students to Think”