#342: May 8, Soul Work

It’s May 8. I sleep in an extra hour. I make myself a kick-ass scrambler. I pick my brother up at 9 and we drive toward I-84. There’s a bunch of teachers on an overpass wearing red and hanging their banners and I honk at them. My brother and I make our way to theContinue reading “#342: May 8, Soul Work”

#341: You Do What You Need To Do

You do what you need to do. If you want to hang a banner over an overpass, you go ahead and do that. If you want to stop by the union office and write a letter to your representative, you do that. If you need to go downtown to be inside of a crowd ofContinue reading “#341: You Do What You Need To Do”

#340: Why Teachers Walk Out (A Short List)

Here’s a short list of reasons why teachers in Oregon are walking out on Wednesday: First, some math: 40 kids in a class room– times six. A student load anywhere between 160 and 240. 6 sections of up to 3 distinct courses to teach, 87 minute periods. An 87 minute preparation period to plan a meaningful 261Continue reading “#340: Why Teachers Walk Out (A Short List)”

Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year, Redux: We Should Be Angry Most of the Time, But for Some Reason. . .

There are things that should infuriate public school teachers about our jobs. Here’s just one: It is an impossible gig; to wit, there is not enough time in the work day to do the job we have been asked to do, or rather, the job that we would like to do, the job that weContinue reading “Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year, Redux: We Should Be Angry Most of the Time, But for Some Reason. . .”

Against a Wall: A Teacher’s Manifesto

It has been coming on for a year or two, maybe longer, but I feel it now in my 28th year of teaching more keenly than ever: I have come up against a wall. This is the condition in which I find myself professionally. It may be that things have always been this way andContinue reading “Against a Wall: A Teacher’s Manifesto”

#184: The American English Teacher Makes A To-Do List

  The number and the analogy may have been different, but I swear I said to at least two of my colleagues today, “Do you ever feel like a web browser with 2,879 tabs open?” And both of these colleagues said the same thing: “All. The. Time.” If I could make a catalogue of allContinue reading “#184: The American English Teacher Makes A To-Do List”