She was pretty and quite bright. He was handsome and charming but not so smart. Together, they were the golden couple of the freshman class. She was in my 2nd period; he was in 5th, right after lunch.

A few months into the year, I noticed something peculiar. She, let’s call her Sandy, did well on my vocab. quizzes but often missed one or two questions. He (“Danny” seems right) always bested Sandy’s score. It was weird. Sandy was focused, a model student. Danny? Not even. Continue reading

Here’s what happened when I threw out my students’ grammar books… Continue reading

Last week, fellow teacher and blogger Sara got me thinking about all of the professional development I’ve attended over the past two decades. I’ve unironically been shown Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk about how schools kill creativity right before being asked to dig into state testing data, I’ve made a pinewood derby-type car out of […]

Today’s post is inspired by a question from Sara, a fellow English teacher and blogger at

I don’t know if you’ve ever served as a department lead, but surely as a member of an English department you’ve some insight into what professional development has been most beneficial to you and your fellow colleagues. I’d love to know what Professional Learning Communities have really strengthened your department.
Sara Continue reading

Annette, one of my teacher besties, just had a launch to the year that she described as…well, let me use her words: “So, this was awesome. It was beyond awesome. Be-awesome!”

She started her high school English classes last week with a first day stations activity (click here for a free copy), but then took the activity a step further Continue reading

As promised, today I’ll attempt a better explanation of the writing contest I use with my classes. Continue reading

If time is money, here are six more ways to feel well-compensated: Continue reading