I remember distinctly the first time I took over a class as a student teacher. I was excited and extremely nervous. I was dressed in my slightly too-tight dress shirt and my awkwardly-tied tie, as I stood at the front of the room like a child about to lecture to a small circle of stuffed… Read More »3 Things to Do to Get Your Students to Respect You
I've spent my life and almost all my energy in education. I'm a teacher educator, currently Professor of English at Stony Brook University, SUNY. I began my career at Columbia High School in East Greenbush, NY (1988-92); was a full-time doctoral student and part-time writing & English instructor at Syracuse University (92-96). I directed the Mid-State Teacher Center in Verona, NY (96-97), and then became an assistant professor of English at Illinois State University (97-2003) before I moved to Stony Brook in August 2003. I was editor the National Council of Teachers of English's _English Journal_ (2008-2013), and served on the executive board of the English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE). I'm also a strong unionist (former member of the statewide executive board of the United University Professions (NYSUT)), and I was an associate dean and then dean; thus, riding the borders of management and labor. The opinions expressed in my blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Stony Brook University, NCTE, UUP, or any other group of which I am a member. Please follow me @Klind2013
As a teacher educator–that is, someone who teaches would-be teachers at the college level and leads teacher certification programs–I have always been leery of students who become teachers because they like imposing rules. I’ve had would-be teachers say, in front of an entire class, that they enjoy correcting people’s grammar and pointing out errors on… Read More »If Teachers Are Natural Rule-Followers, That’s a Problem
As a teacher, your job is extremely clear. There is a bottom line. It’s student learning. Period. That’s it, that’s all, and there ain’t no more. However, as every decent teacher knows, there’s a hell of a lot to student learning. It’s vaster and far more complicated than most people other than good teachers know.… Read More »Bored Students are the Teacher’s Responsibility: What Can You Do About It?
When I was a student teacher, way back before the Internet and just after TV Dinners moved from 40 minutes in the oven to 4 minutes in the microwave–really! Where did we find the time?!–I learned a few lessons from some veteran teachers that I had to unlearn later. One teacher in particular, a crusty… Read More »“Students Have a Right To Fail” and Other Stupid Lessons I Had to Unlearn
I love social media. Not all of it. I’ve been off Facebook for just about a year, and I have enjoyed the time away. But I love Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. I like these platforms better because they are more public facing than Facebook, which tends to narrow to people I know personally. I like… Read More »2 Fast, Easy Ways to Keep Social Media from Driving Your Students (and YOU) to Distraction
Every teacher has been there. You are trying to get your lesson done. You might even be leading up to something that most of the students will enjoy, but you have that one student who will not allow you to teach. They have influence over the other students, they distract you, and they are able… Read More »3 Things to Know If You Have A Student Who Keeps Acting Out In Class, Refusing To Do Work?
Like many other teachers, my classes switched from in-person, face-to-face classes to remote classes via Zoom in mid-March 2020. My classes during this current semester were held entirely remotely. I am very fortunate to teach at a University where our new president (not our old one) allowed faculty to choose whether or not they taught… Read More »3 Classroom Policies I Changed During the Pandemic–That Helped!
Many teachers will correct errors in student writing. Some teachers do so much correcting, or copyediting, that their students’ papers are riddled with marks to the point that the student writing gets lost visually behind all the corrections. Surely this is the hallmark of a dedicated, hardworking, knowledgeable teacher with high standards, right? The answer… Read More »6 Reasons Not to Correct Errors in Student Writing
Students, particularly young students, will often praise the teachers they like as “nice.” In my career, I have often been called “nice,” but I’m not sure it was always accurate. And, more often–when I was actually being nice–I wasn’t always considered nice. Especially not at the time. So what does it mean to be a… Read More »Are You a Nice Teacher? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself
This week, for our last class session, I asked students in my Teaching of Writing class what questions they have about teaching writing in high school/middle school. I also allowed questions about teaching in general. The students were able to upload questions anonymously using a Google Form I created for them. I’m always interested in… Read More »What Questions Did Pre-Service Teachers of Writing Ask?