Are You Teaching in Lonely School?

These comments rolled across my Twitter feed yesterday morning.   Every secondary classroom I’ve visited since the start of the pandemic is in the Lonely School. No faces on the Zoom or Google Meet screens. Few voices besides the teacher’s. Here’s how a couple of ninth graders recently described their experiences: “All my school is very different and separated right now.” “For some reason, I […]

Read More Leave comment

If It Doesn’t Matter to You, I Won’t Care Either

Some time ago, Ken Lindblom, a professor of English Education at Stony Brook University, wrote a blog post, The Rubric Criterion that Changed Everything , about a simple move that helped him attack the never-ending pile of grading he (and all writing teachers) face. He added a single, simple criterion to his rubric for grading writing assignments: Is it interesting? Voila! The weight of grading suddenly lightened by a […]

Read More 2 Comments

Writing Teachers: Think You Don’t Matter?

Think again. Because our students are not only listening, they’re living as writers, for reasons both professional and personal. Last weekend, I attended a WordPress meetup called “Bogging for Professional Development.” Dozens of people showed up at a co-working space on a Saturday afternoon t o hear a panel of young professionals talk about the ins and outs of blogging. Yes, they talked about blogging […]

Read More Leave comment

Goldilocks and the 3 MOOCs

Right now, I’m participating on various levels in three MOOCs: #Change 11, facilitated by Siemens, Cormier & Downes, Alec Couros’ EC&I 831, and Bud Hunt’s Writing & the Common Core on P2PU. This experience is a little like being Goldilocks in the MOOC version of the fairy tale. There’s the Daddy-size MOOC (#Change 11), a Mama-size MOOC  (EC&I 831), and a Baby MOOC (P2PU) and […]

Read More 4 Comments

The Knife-Edge of Praxis

You can tell we’re entering crunch time in the semester; more of us are closing the library at night and I’ve taken to packing a power strip when I head in for the day– it’s hard to believe there are not enough outlets for a table of six earnest (panicking?) grad students. My current mission is a short paper due tonight, for my class in […]

Read More Leave comment

It’s the WRITING, Stupid.

When Bill Clinton ran for office, his advisors hammered home the importance of staying on point. For the campaign workers, for the brilliant candidate who could get tangled in the nuances of complex ideas, for the voters at that time in the nation’s life, there was one point, and one point only: It’s the economy, stupid. Here we are, many years later. Now it is […]

Read More 1 Comment