Category Archives: teaching

Spectacle

Why South Dakota teachers’ “Dash for Cash” felt so gross (msnbc.com) For all the “television will rot your brain” rhetoric I heard when I was younger, the opposite seemed to be the case for me. I watched a lot of educational shows back then — Sesame Street, Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood, 3-2-1 Contact, Mr. Wizard’s World, and others — but even the shows that weren’t explicitly educational still triggered a desire in me to learn more. Back when all the major television networks had game show…

Read More »

Crisis Point

[The following blog contains mentions of suicide.] UNC-Chapel Hill cancels classes after police investigate reported suicides (Charlotte News-Observer via Yahoo! News) Throughout my teaching career, I’ve dealt with students from a very wide range of upbringings and socioeconomic statuses. Trying to pinpoint any single factor as being primarily determinative of students’ success in college, regardless of how “success” is defined (a whole separate argument) is foolhardy, but if you forced me to pick one thing to focus on when it comes to helping incoming college…

Read More »

Beginning Again

This past weekend, as I was decompressing from the work week, it felt strange to recognize that even though I’d taught for six full days of the nascent fall semester, I had yet to teach a full week. Colleges set their schedules differently — I’m still getting used to the much longer winter breaks here in Wisconsin, presumably to keep us all inside for most of January, when the cold weather and roads can be incredibly dangerous — and state law requires that we start…

Read More »

The Prison-to-Prison Pipeline

No Excuses Schools: Bad Theory Created by Amateurs (tultican.com) It’s impossible to research the history of minority schooling in America without repeatedly coming face-to-face with how the reality of that schooling was far worse than even the popular misconceptions of it. Despite the “separate but equal” litmus test established in Plessy v. Ferguson in the nineteenth century, what few schools that did exist for African-Americans in the south were often so neglected that they were barely worth having at all. The idea that Brown v.…

Read More »

Never Really Ready

When I set up the schedules for my classes before the start of each semester, I always try to paint my plans with the broadest brush strokes possible. I have a few set activities I always do at the start of every semester to help acclimate students to my classes (and college life in general), and setting due dates for major assignments ahead of time is always a necessity, but I’ve always tried to be as improvisational of a teacher as possible, adapting to the…

Read More »