Reflections: Is Grammar Worth Teaching?

I teach English and I write professionally, but I don’t remember how I learned grammar.  I’ve always been a reader, and my father is an excellent editor who helped me with many high school and college papers.  But as far as former classroom instruction goes, I have zero recollection of effective teachers and teaching methods…

Image from 
http://hdrcreme.com/photos/39054-Leaking-Dam-

Slowing the Twitter Information Torrent

I just finished paring down my number of Twitter follows from 55 to 25. Compared to other bloggers who write about technology and culture, I realize it’s a miniscule number.  But as of this writing, I find it burdensome to attempt to keep up to speed with Twitter.  Like blogger Cheri Lucas Rowlands, whose Writing…

The Challenge of Blog Promotion

Have you ever finished writing a blog post, then anticipated a deluge of page hits and comments?  After all, you’ve just finished writing what you believe is a truly insightful post, a fresh take on a common theme or daily occurence, so obviously people out in the blogosphere will stop by.   I sure have. …

Dusting Off Some Early Musings

Welcome new readers! One of my favorite aspects of blogging is generating thoughtful discussion, and I earnestly attempt to respond to most comments.  Thanks to my recent post being Freshly Pressed, I haven’t been able to respond to the flood of comments about exploring busyness.  Ironic, no?:)  I’ll start chipping away soon.   Now that…

Thoughts On Writing Well

“All writing is ultimately a question of solving a problem.  It may be a problem of where to obtain facts or how to organize the material.  It may be a problem of approach or attitude, tone or style.  Whatever it is, it has to be confronted and solved.  Sometimes you will despair of finding the…

A Seventh Grader Said “Poetry is Gay”

I’ve decided to post narrative e-mails from my first few years of teaching middle school.  It was my way of journaling and reflecting on my craft, student behaviors, and experiences–both good and bad–in the classroom.  This is an account of attempting to teach 7th graders poetry from January 2006, my second full year teaching (student…

How much detail is simply too much?

Originally posted on Broadside:
Writer’s Block 1 (Photo credit: OkayCityNate). How much — REALLY? — do we need to know? Everyone who writes a blog, unless it’s focused on a specific subject, shares details of their life, past and present: their kids, their partner, their dating life, their work, their school experiences… How much is…