9: The How, Not the What, of Assigned Books

Recently, I said to my sister Wendy, “I should teach a Shakespeare class.” “I thought you already did.” “Nah – the closest was when I was student teaching MacBeth to high school seniors. I spent most of that unit acting out the scenes because they couldn’t get Shakespeare’s language.” I started pantomiming Lady MacBeth’s madness … Continue reading 9: The How, Not the What, of Assigned Books


Elementary School: I Have No Crystal Ball

The little guy will be 3 1/2 at the end of this month, which means he'll be 4 in a little over six months from now.  That was when it hit me: He'll be a kindergartener soon -- all too soon. When there was some brief turnover turmoil last year at his daycare (when he was in … Continue reading Elementary School: I Have No Crystal Ball

“Committees Are Death”

Today was catching up on grading (two classes down, three more to go), which had been piling up for the past few days.  As the campus coordinator of the student literary competition, I was preparing student submissions for judging on Monday,  so that Monday was a wash.  Then Tuesday and Wednesday came and gone with … Continue reading “Committees Are Death”

“I’m not packing heat! I’m packing Smacky!”

Unless you're a south Texas school district teacher, that is. I don't see my college district (or any large, urban or suburban school district, for that matter) allowing teachers to bring their licensed concealed handguns to campus anytime soon.  But it warm's *this* independent's heart to know that Texas recognizes that teachers who also are prudent … Continue reading “I’m not packing heat! I’m packing Smacky!”

The Urban-Suburban Graduation Gap

First, look over this report from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. (It's a 1.77 MB pdf, so it'll take a few seconds to load.) Our urban schools are in trouble.  BIG trouble.  As an educator for whom most of her students come from the DFW area, I'm sorry to say that a 55.8% high school graduation rate … Continue reading The Urban-Suburban Graduation Gap