Question of the Day: “Why am I so excited to start the school year?”

If you read my blog for the last two years, you will know I have contemplated leaving teaching. You would have read all about how miserable I have been and how hard it has been. These last two years took a tremendous toll. It was not just me. There is now a considerable teacher shortage…

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Teaching #101: Teaching Reading Strategies in the Content Areas

Despite what many content area teachers believe, it is really important to teach reading strategies in their content area. Sixty percent of US high school students are performing “basic” or “below basic” on standardized state tests. This is unacceptable, but it is nothing new. US students have been scoring this low in reading for years.…

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Question of the Day: “What is the most important theme in To Kill a Mockingbird?”

As the school year is starting up again, I am reminded of one of the most taught novels in the United States. It is Harper Lee’s one-hit-wonder. I am also quite convinced that it was written mostly by her best friend Truman Capote. You may have made note of the fact that I did not…

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Teaching #101: Who was your favorite teacher?

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William A. Ward Every student who is training to be a teacher is asked to write about your favorite teacher. This rather creative assignment is often followed by a similar one that asks you to write about your…

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Teaching #101: “Tough love for people who are going into teaching”

My life as a teacher started officially when I was 26. It metaphorically began when I first started giving spelling tests to my stuffed animals. Twenty years later, I can say I have learned many things, and I have had many preconceived notions of what it means to be a teacher ripped away. It took…

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Teaching #101: Please be aware that our kids/students are struggling.

I have seen a lot recently about teachers not being okay. This is absolutely true, but I think it is overshadowing the struggles of our students, our children, during this time. I am a teacher in a public school in a very wealthy district. The vast majority of my students are motivated, well-behaved, and “capable”…

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Teaching #101: The Importance of Teaching Reading in Our Classrooms

As an English teacher, I once believed I was helping students develop good learning habits by making them read a certain number of pages of an assigned novel. Oh, don’t worry. I didn’t just make them read at home. I made them annotate as well. When they would return the next day, I then tested…

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Question of the Day: “Why does it seem like our country hates teachers?”

When I first broached the idea of going to school for teaching, my father looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Absolutely not. I will not pay for college if you are going to be a teacher.” My father was a machinist at the Naval Ship Yard in Philadelphia from the time he was…

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Question of the Day: “Where do I go for a miracle?”

Miracles often show up in literature. Characters ask for them. Sometimes they are just divinely given to characters who may or may not be deserving. They are small or large acts of mercy bestowed by a benevolent god or an understanding universe. But where do they really come from? Where does one go or whom…

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Question of the Day: “Am I a writer?”

My newest read Still Writing is splayed open and upside down next to me. My mom bought the book for me last summer, and yesterday I picked it from the pile, despite the stack of unread books I just received as Christmas gifts. Reading is my habit. I read constantly, but I have been struggling…

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