Beware the IDES of March

March is an extremely long month for teachers. It does not come with the welcome break of Presidents’ Day, and if Easter falls in April, as it does this year, March is the month that many just have to literally march through putting one foot in front of the other. One of the best things... Continue Reading →

Hosting an African American Read In

We hosted our first African American Read In this year inspired by the National Council of Teachers of English Black Caucus. Ingredients: 1 part--Enthusiastic students with a renewed love for reading gained through choice and time in class to read. 1 part--An excellent librarian willing to do just about anything to foster student engagement in... Continue Reading →

Rethinking the Research Paper

Writing a literary research paper is a required component in the dual-enrollment class that I teach. Many things about this paper are unchangeable: the length, the MLA format, and the fact that I have to evaluate all of them. In order to make this process more enjoyable for all parties involved, I decided to rethink... Continue Reading →

Blogging benefits student voice

This year my class is blogging on an Edublogs site at  The inspiration for starting these blogs has several main purposes. Students should be writing more than any teacher can read. To paraphrase Kelly Gallager, not every paper that a student writes needs to be proofed, edited, graded, and scored by the teacher.  Grade certain... Continue Reading →

Mr. Hardy’s legacy remembered

Today we honor the life and memory of Jackie Hardy who was a coach, teacher, and friend to so many in our community. I am taking this opportunity to print the speech I gave to induct him into the Tunstall High School Sports Hall of Fame class of 2013-14 recreated from my notes from that... Continue Reading →

Imagery: Write This! Not That!

This past Friday I was privileged to present two sessions at the Virginia Association of Teachers of English. One of which was titled Write This! Not That! and examined the typical problems students run in to when writing on imagery, diction, syntax, and narrative pace. Here is the portion on the complex device of imagery. ... Continue Reading →

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