There was a time I was extremely rigid about deadlines. I was in my very early twenties and a new teacher. The sacredness of deadlines had been drilled into me from my earliest days at St. Helena’s Grammar School in The Bronx through my college years. “Students have to learn the value of meeting deadlines… Read More »How I Handle Deadlines
Click to listen to this post. We spend hours and hours planning lessons, coming up with useful and interesting assignments, and we spend huge amounts of energy directly working with students to help them not only understand those assignments but to actually succeed on them. And after all that, this little bastard turns in an… Read More »Don’t Take Cheating Personally
Since I co-authored a number of articles and chapters in the early 2000s–including the most popular “Why Revitalize Grammar?” (2003, English Journal), “Grammar Rant Analysis” (2006, English Journal), and Grammar Rants (Heinemann, 2011)–I have been exploring the ways in which grammar instruction in the USA is based on bigotry. In the years since, I have… Read More »Teaching Standard English is Racist
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
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?
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
Future English teacher Aaron DeLay has created this very cool slide about grammar and language instruction, drawing on scholarship by Patricia A Dunn and me. Please check it out, and please credit Aaron if you use this. Thanks, Aaron! Follow him @adelayedteacher If you’d like to learn more about Grammar Rants: How a Backstage Tour… Read More »A Great Take on Language/Grammar Instruction