All Together Now

1. Irony 101 (Author’s note: this is the earnest, teacher-y part of the post.) Irony is one of the literary devices I teach my 6th graders, and I keep it to pretty obvious examples: a “no smoking” sign in a cigarette factory, getting run over by an ambulance, etc. Last year I added to our […]

The Minister of Education

I came across this AP story a few years back. I’d used it for a vocab-in-context quiz, then forgot about it until I found the clipping in a file the other day. This time reading it, I decided it’s a perfect* four-sentence short story: A man posing as a government official took over a rural high […]

Resourceful Humans

  Quite exciting, this computer magic: I just learned the word “educationalist” exists. I thought “educator” was bad enough, as it combines inflationary titling (“team associate” etc) with a macabre,* Khmer Rouge-esque flair. Next they’ll be calling us “instructional delivery curators.” It reminds me of a conversation with my dad, who worked for the VA. “Personnel!” he’d say when […]

Tell Me What It Takes To Let You Know

  “One brand of knowing (scientia) earns a ratty office and a shared secretary at the Heritage Foundation. The other (awareness) brings power, money, fame.”   You know how sometimes an adjective doesn’t so much clarify as call into question what’s going on otherwise? E.g. “real beef” or “sweet lullaby”? The field of education has a lot […]

It’s Time Is Now.

  I was putting up a set of posters on common misuses (to vs too, etc), and when I came to the it’s vs its one, I hesitated. Between you and me – not in front of the children – can we just abolish “its”? My objections are twofold: I don’t see how “it’s” shouldn’t always be valid “Its” […]

The Master and Le Guide

“‘I’m going to be strict, but fair.’ That’s what all teachers say at the beginning of the year,” a friend once complained to me. Well, this year I’m going to do better than that. Recently I was out with the wife for Date Night – this is what it’s come to etc – and she was […]

“All I Ever Meet …”

  Last week I did exit interviews with students about the best books they read this year. To model the behavior, as we say in the business, I stood before each class and interviewed myself about The Catcher in the Rye. To describe its broad appeal, I mentioned an experience reading it for the first time. While I waited […]