It's Not an Excuse: The Problem with Truancy

In a recent Courier-Journal article, the local teacher union was put in the spotlight for asking about test scores and absenteeism. While some may see this as just another excuse for low test scores, JCTA really is onto something with this....more

So You Do It!

Practice makes perfect. That's what I tell my students when they lament the fact that they've already written this type of piece before or read this kind of story before. Are you perfect at it? No? Then you can still improve....more

You Know You're a Teacher When...

Sorry for the lack of entries lately. With the start of the school year and beginning my second masters, I literally have not had time to update my blog. Since I have some time, I thought I'd give you a brief list of teacher quirks, or maybe they're just my teacher quirks.1. You can go an entire work day without using the restroom and not realize it....more

Tips & Tricks: A Lesson in Relevance

My students have to write a personal narrative during the first unit. Instead of diving head first into writing, I thought we'd take a day to explore who the kids are before asking them to write who they are. How? With music. I gave my students homework last night to bring in a song that describes who they are as a person. Today, we used those songs during our lesson. ...more

You Were My Cousin's Favorite Teacher!

Today was the first day of school. All in all, the day went off without any problems. Well, as far as I can see. Today I experienced something new. The majority of my students knew who I was before I introduced themselves. I'm not going to lie, I felt a bit like a celebrity. "You had my older sister!""You had my cousin last year. You were his favorite!""My brother said your class was easy as long as you did what you were supposed to."...more

This Is Why We Don't Have School

School was supposed to start on August 15th. The keyword in that sentence is "supposed." As you can tell by the fact that I am blogging during normal school hours, school is not in session today, nor was it yesterday. For the first time since I have been a teacher, the start of school has been delayed. Why?...more

It's A New Year: Here They Come!

The students are coming into the building tomorrow. This has been a year of many changes. We have two new administrators (a principal and assistant principal), about thirty teachers new to the building, over half of them in their first year, and new standards that have created a huge curriculum shift in English. I don't feel ready, but I don't think I ever feel ready. You're never really ready for the kids until they're in your room, staring you down.  ...more
"I didn't get into education to help the kids who can help themselves." Amen to that!more

The Teacher Nightmare

No, I don't mean the bureaucracy and paperwork that teachers have to complete. I mean the real, honest to God dreams that go south and make you wake up in a cold sweat. There are dreams that I wouldn't have unless I was a teacher. People seem to find these funny, but I really wake up completely horrified sometimes....more

Beginning of the Year: Getting To Know You

My summer ends tomorrow, though I still have a couple weeks before I am graced with the wonderful presence of children in my classroom. Every year it seems I forget how I became so close with my students by the end of the school year. What magic did I perform last year? Who are these new kids in my room? How am I ever going to remember them all!? You live and you learn and you get down to business and start figuring out who they are. At the beginning of the year, it's best to learn their names as quickly as you can....more

Would You Cheat?

A new cheating scandal is gracing headlines across the nation. This bought of cheating, this time in Atlanta, was allowed to go on unchecked for a decade. Atlanta probably isn't the only district to cheat recently. They were just caught. After a decade of cheating, I have to wonder what the teachers in those schools started to think. In ten years, countless new teachers entered the hallways to help children. Instead, they were lead in a career of helping students cheat....more