The only way I’ve found for students to really grow as writers is for them to write a lot and get meaningful feedback on their work. The reality, though, is there’s only one of me and 170+ of them, so my time with each student is limited. One way to maximize writing growth is a technique my students have dubbed, “Crazy Essay Week.” Continue reading

Ever wonder what the teacher across the hall has planned for the upcoming week? Wish you could sneak a peak at a veteran teacher’s curriculum calendar? The “What I’m Teaching This Week” series was built for this very purpose. Continue reading

And just like that, it’s the last week of school. This week will be a super-easy teaching week because final exams are scheduled for the last three days of school. So, really, I have only two more teaching days and then I’ll just proctor and score exams. Easy. Here’s this week’s agenda: Monday Present this […]

Ah, Memorial Day weekend – three glorious days to give tribute to our nation’s veterans, relax with family, and finish grading my very last set of freshman essays of the year. I’m deep in the dark chocolate almond phase with fewer than a dozen papers to go. Continue reading

Allow me to step away from Romeo for a moment to share a video The Guardian uploaded last week of Damian Lewis just slaying Antony’s eulogy of Caesar. Continue reading

Can’t believe April’s now over and we’re about to wrap our final 20Time work session this week. I was lamenting the flight of time on Friday when one of my kids explained that time moves faster for old folks than young people because a year out of our lives is only, say for me, 1/44th […]

It was a big week around here as our new principal was announced – a beloved assistant principal was given the crown, so all is well. Now that the drama in the staff lounge has settled down, I can refocus my attention to the drama on the page. This week, Romeo will meet Juliet for […]

Is it just me or does the final quarter of the school year always feel like a bullet-train ride? One of my hallway homies mentioned yesterday that there are now only 39 days of school left. Wait, what? I have just 39 days to take my freshmen through a deep study of Romeo & Juliet, a quick read of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the end of our 20Time projects/what-we-learned speeches. And don’t forget to throw in the chaos of SBAC and AP testing, which always derails more than a few days’ plans. Uh, yeah…I have some work to do. Continue reading

We’re ready to set sail across the Mediterranean as we join Odysseus on his long trek home. I used to teach the full 24 books/chapters of The Odyssey, but to fit in the 20Time work sessions I had to make some tough choices and, like Agamemnon butchering sweet Iphigenia, I was forced to sacrifice something I hold dear to move forward with my bigger plan. Continue reading