For Teachers

Teaching Students How to Revise: A First Step

Throughout my years as a writing teacher, I consistently saw that many students didn’t know how to effectively revise.  “My sentences are complete, and I’ve corrected my spelling. I’m done,” they would tell me. But they weren’t.  And even if they had beautiful language, a well-organized beginning, middle and end, and grammatically correct paragraphs, their …

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Four Essential Attributes Every Writer Needs (And Teachers Too!)

Obviously, as a writer, it is important to continually work at understanding your craft and improving your skills. However, to my mind, just as important to literary success is purposefully developing the irreplaceable attributes of a writer’s mindset; patience, perserverance, the ability to reflect, and most important of all, self-forgiveness. Patience: We all know that …

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What Teachers Can Learn About Motivation from NFL Coach Gary Kubiak

I am not a football fan, but when I taught middle school, I pretended to be one, so I’d have something to talk about to some of the boys in my class.  I will admit though, to discovering that I really liked the motivational stories of players’ grit and determination.  As I read about the …

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Optimism and an “I Believe in You” Attitude Are Powerful Teaching Tools

We’ve all heard the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Now, substitute the word teacher for mama. And then, substitute the words optimistic and supportive for the first happy in the quote. You now have a new, albeit, less memorable saying: If the teacher isn’t optimistic and supportive of student success, then the …

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The Power of Keeping a Teaching Journal

“We surprise ourselves by what we write.  Writing is thinking, not thought recorded.”  —Donald Murray Far be it from me to add one more thing to your plate.  Heaven knows, it’s already overflowing!  However, this one-more-thing isn’t to please your administrator or a grumpy parent or the critical public.  It is just for you.  (Isn’t …

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