Category Archives: teaching

The Trouble with Textbooks

College students outraged over $999  online textbook (channel3000.com) One of the primary guiding principles of my teaching career, if not my whole life, is to never forget where I came from. While I could cite many examples of how that principle guides my non-teaching life, my bad experiences as a K-12 student have done a lot to shape how I approach my work as a teacher. Even when I was still a student in those classrooms, I could see how some teachers were inflicting misery…

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Badgered

It’s been almost a dozen years since I got my MA in English Literature. When I graduated, I really didn’t have any desire to pursue a doctoral degree in English, and little has changed since then. (I’ve thought about getting further graduate degrees in other fields, but that’s a topic for another time.)  Apart from my feelings about continuing my studies in English, the teaching bug bit me hard before I even taught my first English class, and when I finally got my MA, I…

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Let Kids Be Kids, FFS

No more snow days: School district replaces wintry days with off with online classes (fox59.com) Back in 2014, when France made it illegal for companies to contact their employees about work-related business after six in the evening, a lot of pundits here in America used the opportunity to point out how the Internet, and the growing availability of powerful smartphones and tablets, were changing the fundamental nature of work and jobs. Plenty had already been written about how new technology was eating up people’s free…

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Careering Into Catastrophe

Trump Plan To Merge Labor, Education Departments Could Undermine Them Both (Huffington Post via MSN) As the Fred Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? opens in theatres, it’s important to revisit one of Mister Rogers’ most famous quotes, and my personal favourite of his: “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” You’ve probably seen this quote in meme form on your social media feeds…

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The Littlest Victims

Kids banned from field day if they owe lunch money. School says there’s a $55,000 tab (nj.com) Inside the old Walmart where 1,500 undocumented immigrant kids are being held (Vice News) Every class I teach, I make a point of trying to hold class outside at least once during the term. This tends to be easier in some terms that others (it’s almost impossible to hold a summer term class outside, due to the heat), and I’ve had my fair share of outside classes get…

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