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!
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
It is my job as a teacher to create the conditions such that each student learns all they can from the English language arts to survive and thrive in the future. That mandate, which is entirely about student learning, is the only thing that does or should guide me as a teacher. Within reason, of… Read More »Fairness in the Classroom: It May Not Be What You Think
Three Successes and Three Areas to Improve: Reflections on Teaching My First Online Course to Undergraduates
In Fall 2018, I designed a new course I called “Reading Social Media,” which is intended to explore the ways in which social media shapes and reshapes public discourse and those who engage in it. The course was taught in a fully-online environment, meaning that the students and I never met in person. We functioned… Read More »Three Successes and Three Areas to Improve: Reflections on Teaching My First Online Course to Undergraduates
I asked a first-year college class recently, “What can you tell me about academic honesty?” All the students could talk about was how bad plagiarism is and that they should avoid it or they would get in serious trouble. When I said, “I didn’t ask about plagiarism, I asked about academic honesty,” they were completely… Read More »Don’t Teach against Plagiarism, Teach for Academic Honesty
If you’re like me, you let stacks of student papers sit for a while before you can bring yourself to respond to them. Once I get into reading and responding to them, it goes well, but there’s just something about diving into the first paper on the stack that is tremendously foreboding. There have been… Read More »The Rubric Criterion That Changed Everything