The First Year of Edukention

It was just about a year ago when I decided my 2016 New Year’s resolution would be to start a blog. It was a no-brainer what it would be about-education and teacher education–and edukention seemed to be a pretty honest name for what I planned to do: express my own opinions on whatever aspects of… Read More »The First Year of Edukention

To Ed Policy-Makers: Take the Danza Challenge

Since before the Common Core State Standards were just a flicker in David Coleman’s eyes, education reformers with no experience as public school teachers have been trying–within increasing success–to impose their ideas onto public schools. Many working educators, particularly teachers who work constantly with students, wonder how those without any experience doing the job could… Read More »To Ed Policy-Makers: Take the Danza Challenge

(How) Should We Count Effort in Students’ Grades on Writing?

I’m sure most teachers have experienced this: You watch some students struggle and struggle to write well. They revise and rewrite. They come for extra help. They work with a writing tutor. But, short of having someone else actually do some of the writing for them, their final products are only so-so. And then other… Read More »(How) Should We Count Effort in Students’ Grades on Writing?

My Big Five

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If you’re interested in learning about five (really six) important books that have shaped my professional thinking, please see a blog post I published today on the Heinemann Publishing blog. Thanks! -Ken  

Grading Student Writing Objectively: A Myth and a Trap

Many newer teachers and non-specialists believe that above all else, teachers should be objective when they grade student writing.  That is, they should grade based on fact, not bias. After all, this kind of thinking goes, isn’t it wrong to judge student work subjectively, bringing one’s own thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives to bear on student… Read More »Grading Student Writing Objectively: A Myth and a Trap

My Top 10 Early-Career Teaching Fails, and What New Teachers Can Learn From Them, Part II (6-10)

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Read Part I First. Teaching Fail #6: Being a Pedantic Hard Ass The Story: This story goes way back to when I was student teaching in East Hampton, New York in 1988. My cooperating teacher had a speech class that he asked me to take over. I used his assignment for the students, which required a speech of between… Read More »My Top 10 Early-Career Teaching Fails, and What New Teachers Can Learn From Them, Part II (6-10)

My Top 10 Early-Career Teaching Fails, and What New Teachers Can Learn From Them Part I (1-5)

Teaching Fail #1: Oversleeping During my first year of teaching high school English full-time, I had a few recurring fears. Oddly enough, one was that I would be incapacitated by a 15-25-sneeze-long sneezing fit and completely lose control of a class. This didn’t happen in my early years of teaching (although it since has, and was fine).… Read More »My Top 10 Early-Career Teaching Fails, and What New Teachers Can Learn From Them Part I (1-5)

Prepping for the NCTE Convention!

I first attended the Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1989, as a second year high school English teacher. It was like a nerdy dream come true! Thousands of fellow teachers passionate, good-humored, and smart about teaching English. I discovered aspects of the field I had no idea existed. I… Read More »Prepping for the NCTE Convention!