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!

A Statement for Educators on the 2016 Presidential Election

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Below is a statement I sent on the morning after the US Presidential election to my colleagues at Stony Brook University.  Perhaps other educators might find it useful. As always, my views do not necessarily represent Stony Brook University or any of its agents or subsidiaries. Dear  Colleagues, Last night the nation spoke and elected… Read More »A Statement for Educators on the 2016 Presidential Election