How to Help Young Writers

This evening, I was interviewed about how to teach writing by an East Carolina University student, Mikel Peterson. I’ve written the questions from Mikel below, along with my answers. How do you get student to explore relationships with literacy? Half the job is modeling, the other half is giving students rich literacy experiences. The real way […]

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Tough Class? Use the 1st Rule of Hypnotism

On my first day as a teacher in Minneapolis, I knew that any type of professional hesitation on my part could lead to classroom management disaster, particularly since three English teachers had already quit before I was hired late in September. And despite my best effort, I was completely overrun. Here’s what the first few […]

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Obama Reads Like a Writer

Obama’s summer reading list doesn’t surprise me. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri All That Is by James Salter  (Source: Entertainment Weekly) It doesn’t surprise me because […]

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How Teachers and Guardians can Work Together

This morning, the entire faculty and administration of South Greenville Elementary School in sweaty North Carolina walked through the projects where most of their students live. People stepped out onto religiously trimmed lawns to wave and smile. “What are y’all doing here?” shouted one parent. “Visiting,” a teacher hollered back. In fact, the school personnel […]

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10 Classroom Door Quotes

A classroom door is a portal from the hallway to a consciousness of your choosing. Here are 10  quotations to make it count.10. “Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice […]

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20 Teacher Humblebrags

1. Too bad the kids act up in all the other classes. They never cause me trouble. ​ 2. They thought I was out of touch—right up until I mentioned listening to Tame Impala on Beats 1. 3. They applauded so loud after the PowerPoint that the teacher next door complained about the noise. 4. […]

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My Favorite MLK Photo

Photo credit: Bob Fitch, a staff photographer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) , Montgomery, Alabama airport, 1966 In 1995, I found this photo in a display in the Chicago airport after an interview for an English Education Professor job at the University of Georgia. The whole interview went south after one of the […]

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