Browsing All Posts filed under »Stories from The Archive«

The Archive: A Museum, A Library, A Lighthouse

September 8, 2015


The Archive is a collection of boxes, crates, and bookcases in my basement that house the artifacts of my career in education, from my first classes at Kellogg Community College to the essays and reflections from my most recent classes of Freshman, Junior, and Senior ELA students. While all teachers have collections of artifacts from […]

Expectations of Excellence

September 1, 2015


Yesterday, Jake, a former student who is now a senior at University of Michigan, came to my classroom with his mom to introduce me to his little sister, who will be in my Freshman English class next week. I was delighted to meet her, and I am looking forward to working with her. Seeing Jake […]

Answering The Question: “What the [bleep] does American Literature have to do with nature?!?!”

August 18, 2015


From 1999 until 2012, I used an interdisciplinary approach in my ELA 11 classes in which students  blended information they gathered by taking field notes outdoors with research they did into genres they wanted to write–to create original, powerful, multi-genre compositions, complete with original artwork and annotated bibliography.  Since I wrote this piece, Adrian High […]

When Eddy Met Edward: A Story of LIFE-ALTERING Professional Development (No, really!)

August 14, 2015


Recently I posted about my mentor, Cathy Fleischer, and how she’s taught me to participate in the professional conversation about ELA. Another mentor who invited me to participate in the professional conversation is Ed Pembleton, former director of the Leopold Education Project, who now works with the Jeffers Foundation, doing workshops to enable and encourage […]

Reaching Out, Giving Hope: Mentoring Across the Generations

August 7, 2015


A few months ago, I started seeing teachers posting anecdotes online under the title, “Evaluate This!” in response to the current practice of evaluating teachers, even those who don’t teach in tested subjects, on the standardized (English and Math) test scores of students. Teachers and students are so much more than data points, and test […]

My Conversion Story: How I Didn’t Become a Soldier

July 31, 2015


As classroom teachers, we never know which seeds we’ve planted will bloom–and IF they do, we don’t know when it will happen or how. We just do our best each day to live the vision, not only in our teaching, but also in each interaction with others in the school community. Some seeds take root, […]

Tony’s Triumph: From “Non-Writer” to Published Writer

July 28, 2015


A couple of years ago, I ran into a parent of a former student, Tony (Class of 2004). Rob, his dad, put his arm around me and said, “You know, Tony is in Hollywood now, working in the film industry, making more money than us, and it’s all because of you.” Of course it isn’t […]