My Three Struggles this Summer

I’ve written a lot, I think, about the success I’ve experienced and witnessed working in this summer program. And I have written about those because they are exciting, and interesting, and I wanted to share them. But it’s not all roses over here, and I don’t want to suggest everything is perfect and great because …

No, No, No. I Got Something

I don’t know how it happened, but there came a day where one of my classes was sitting around talking about favorite movies. As I listened to them speak, I realized that we could use video to think about how texts are structured. Ideally, they would learn something they could apply to their own writing. …

Assigning Chapter 15

The other day I talked about grading and some of my concerns about its traditional uses in classrooms. Today, I want to talk about another issue: homework. I’m largely anti-homework (pre-college), but I’m not as up in arms about it as I am with grading. There’s a great blog post – and a fantastic discussion …

Getting Rid of Grades

I have a confession to make: I hate grading. And no, I don’t mean that I hate the time it takes to read papers and give feedback (although I have thoughts on that too). I mean I think traditional grading as we know it and use it in our schools is not helping students in …

You Better Get Used to It

I had three new students in class today! Remember how concerned I was about people not showing up? I’m just happy to have them. Two students were brand new that day, but the third had shown up the day before (I was out with a dental emergency). The young woman who had come once had …

We Geek Out on Writing

I have a room full of writing geeks. Massive writing geeks. Total grammar nerds. And I love it. I don’t know if they are aware that they are like this, but they so totally are. It is awesome. The first few days of our time together was partially a living hell. Most of the students …

Where Is Everyone?

Only half of my students have shown up since the first day. Some are apparently coming for just the afternoon. A few seem to pop in and out. I know it’s only the third day, but I found it confusing. It also makes teaching a bit interesting. So I asked someone about it today. What’s …

Are You Upset With Me?

“Are you upset with me?” the young man asked. It was Day One for the summer program I was teaching in. The students, all rising high school juniors, had been accepted into a program intended to support first generation college students. My job, as their English teacher, was to give them extra academic help in …

Back in the Classroom

I’m excited. I landed a summer job teaching¬†English to¬†high school students who are in a program intended to support first generation college students. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with students. I get to work with students at the college level, but it’s not the same (sorry y’all. …