After two decades of teaching high school English, I’ve known many principals. I’ve come to think of them as the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Today’s video is a message from the heart, the things I always wanted to say but never did because, well, I didn’t want to lose my job. Learn more […]

Last week’s video got a lot of attention (thanks, YouTube algorithm) and I want to keep the conversation going. This week, my reaction to the 700+ comments I received and some concrete things teachers can do right now to make life a little better for yourself and your students. Links to items mentioned in today’s […]

Last week, blog reader Jenn asked what’s on a lot of teachers’ minds: “Could we maybe address the elephant in the room and that being why so many incredibly amazing teachers are leaving or looking to leave the profession?“ Yup. This is my longest video ever because it turns out I have a l-o-t to […]

A global pandemic, a cross-country move, an identity crisis…yeah, it’s been a weird year. Everything’s upside-down and inside-out right now. Seemed like a good time to fire up the YouTube channel again: Let’s talk! What topics should I cover? What’re you struggling with? How can I help? I’ll do my best to turn your questions […]

Today’s post is a question I received yesterday from a customer over at my shop.

Hello Laura,
I recently gave my students the one-question-quizzer style of quiz (Note to reader – You can learn more about this method here: https://laurarandazzo.com/2014/06/23/hold-their-feet-to-the-fire/), and usually this method seems to work well. Unfortunately, during one of the quizzers, I had a student answer the question incorrectly though he claimed to have read the story.

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Life is hard. Plans fall apart. People disappoint you. And yet… My latest obsession – Wondery’s Imagined Life podcast – details the struggles people faced before they became famous and it always leaves me hopeful. Part biography/part mystery, the program is a fun distraction with a guessing game quality. It’s also a helluva great example […]

“Hey Ms. R., that was pretty good…for a school movie.”
Yes, The Twilight Zone, that 60-year-old black-and-white TV show, earns what I call high praise from teenagers.

Before we get to my all-time favorite episodes to use as teaching tools, here are seven reasons to bring The Twilight Zone to your classroom:

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Behold the tragic case of Justin Laboy, an 18-year-old high school senior who agreed to sell a baggie of marijuana in a foolish attempt to impress his crush at school – a girl who turned out to be a 25-year-old undercover police officer. Yes, it’s a real-life version of a 21 Jump Street episode that […]

Note: This is an updated repost featuring some of my favorite end-of-October lesson ideas.

Since Halloween’s on a Saturday this year, it feels right to fill the whole week leading up to Oct. 31 with spooky literary goodness. Up first? A super-creepy Neil Gaiman story suggested a few weeks ago by friends over in the 2ndaryELA Facebook Group.

If you don’t know Gaiman’s “Click Clack the Rattlebag,” lower the lights and get ready for a fun, scary ride. Gaiman shares it with us here:

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Haven’t heard of her? You’re not alone. Last week, I came across Susan Glaspell’s short story, “A Jury of Her Peers,” while looking for new works to add to my American literature curriculum. Glaspell, called “American drama’s best-kept secret” by the British press, was a turn-of-the-century powerhouse who packed her easy-to-read story with tons of symbolism and controversy for students to discuss. Continue reading