Far from admitting to a teacher, many of my students don’t want to admit to themselves that they’re struggling with something. They prefer not knowing, passing, and faking their way out of a task to the sheer torture of the confession of their struggles.
Fostering Environmental Storytelling: Making an Eco-Zine
The question—What kind of access to environmental news stories do we have?— is one that arouses concern in my classroom. According to my high school students, unless you’re taking an AP Environmental Science class, chances are slim that climate change is being addressed, let alone mentioned. This is troubling for students who are mindful of […]
The Emotional Underlife of Writing
Through all the unprecedented changes the pandemic has brought into our classrooms, something that hasn’t changed and is highly unlikely to change is, how, despite seemingly perfect external conditions, the inner condition of the writer affects their writing.
Top 5 Tools for Digital Revision Work
When writers revise in our classrooms, it is vital that they have the guidance and the tools to empower them to do so. Between last spring and this school year, writing teachers have especially turned to a variety of digital tools to find ways to keep the revision process authentic, valuable, and productive. In a […]
On the Lookout For Happy Accidents
My greatest hope is that amid this newness, the “I-feel-like-a-first-year-teacher-again” of it all, we can all learn some things about teaching writing that we may never have otherwise explored.
Welcome to Workshop! Let’s Put You To Work!
Like many high school students, I made my college decision during the spring of my senior year, but I think I reached 90% certainty about which college I would attend at least one year before then, when I attended at shadow day at my future alma mater, St. Norbert College. I followed a sophomore around […]
TFMTF: Learning Through the Rabbit Hole
Instead of giving you a specific account to follow with this edition of Teaching From My Twitter Feed, I thought we’d have some fun with one my favorite Twitter joys: The Rabbit Hole. There’s a Rabbit Hole for every topic you can imagine on Twitter, and probably for a few you can’t. There’s also lots […]
What’s Saving My Life: Teaching Thematically
I teach Grade 9 to 12 English thematically. If you teach middle years, this isn’t that radical an approach, I know, but it’s different for high school. For over a decade, most English teams I’ve worked with have done this alongside me. It’s a lifesaver for many reasons. Giving each course an overarching theme gives […]
We Went A ‘Long Way Down’…
Though I read All American Boys a couple of years ago, I was weirdly late to the writing of Jason Reynolds. I read his Miles Morales novel this winter, and when I saw it being lauded so strongly in my Twitter feed, I picked up a copy of Long Way Down. If you’ve read it, […]
Memoir Remix: Writing
The remix of our Memoir Study focused initially on the reading of memoir. Writing needed a touchup too. Last April, long after we were finished the semester we taught our Grade 12s, the students who studied memoir, in, my colleague Ashley and I were driving to the city to see Penny Kittle. An hour in […]