A while back, I wrote the following post for the TeachersPayTeachers blog. I’m sharing it here, too, as a repost for new subscribers and anyone who may have missed it the first time around.

The month of March has been officially proclaimed Women’s History Month. While I appreciate the gesture, this declaration won’t have an impact on my classroom. Highlight women’s voices and achievements during the month of March? Nah. I’d rather do that all throughout the year. Continue reading

New(ish) teacher Kelli was wondering this week how to help her middle schoolers slow down and gather their thoughts before writing. Our email conversation led me to build this free set of tools that’ll hopefully help all English teachers. Continue reading

You gotta pity the Class of 2017. This spring, juniors will be hit with a triple-whammy – the timed essay of the EAP (it’s a California thing), Common Core SBAC testing, and the premiere of the new SAT in March. Yeah, these kids will be at the forefront of some high-stakes testing and you know what they say about life on the cutting edge – it often makes you bleed. Continue reading

Is there an English teacher out there who doesn’t love the 1989 Oscar-winning film Dead Poets Society? Doubtful. I first saw the film when I was high school senior (go ahead, do the math) and wanted to both marry Mr. Keating and be Mr. Keating. Well, I married Mr. Randazzo instead, but I’ve definitely added a healthy dose of Keatingness to my teaching style. Continue reading

Good ol’ Aristotle was right. If students use all three of the tools of rhetoric he identified – ethos, pathos, and logos – they’ll win any argument. Lecturing about these rhetorical tools is fine, but it’s even better for students to see how these same tools are used today by writers and speakers.

Take, for instance, Steve Jobs. No matter whether you view Jobs as a hero or villain, Continue reading