Teaching Writing

How I Handle Deadlines

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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

Don’t Take Cheating Personally

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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

Teaching Standard English is Racist

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

6 Reasons Not to Correct Errors in Student Writing

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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

What Questions Did Pre-Service Teachers of Writing Ask?

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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?

Don’t Teach against Plagiarism, Teach for Academic Honesty

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