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 […]

Slap, Memory

The other day I asked for a kiss and instead received a slap. Though only a toddler, my daughter’s got a mean open hand, and I see no reason to interpret this exchange as anything but portentous. That very afternoon, coincidentally, I was passing out laptops for a reading level test, and asked a student […]

6th Grade Netherland

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Joseph O’Neill’s novel The Dog, I decided to re-read Netherland. This time round I was particularly smitten with the narrator’s description of his driver’s ed class. Let’s just say, at this point in the year, it’s hard to read without a certain wistfulness: …a compassionate understanding tacitly arose among the students […]

Help, I’m Stepping into the Twilight Zone

This sign inspired me to such witticisms as “Shouldn’t they block the road?” and “Ours was in a ballroom.” (Figuring you can’t go wrong with Wild Bill, I submitted this for Twitter’s consideration.) Then I thought: it’s like something you’d see on The Twilight Zone, but if the episode were directed by John Hughes. The PARCC (as we in […]

King & The Mighty I

  “I wanted every 50-minute class to feel like half an hour.” Stephen King’s instructional goal is a sterling standard for teachers and (scaled accordingly) songwriters. And while he and Noel Gallagher are two whose work I’ve regrettably stopped following (the former’s out of loss of habit, the latter’s due to disappointment), when I encounter an interview with either, I […]