I’m experiencing Hamlet-like indecisiveness regarding whether or not to attend an upcoming high school reunion. Ever since receiving the informal invitation, I have been debating the prospect, bouncing back and forth between confirming my intention to attend and ignoring the invite entirely.
What follows is a reflection on issues facing teachers on a national scale, not so much a response to my local district, which (cross my fingers) has been remarkably-supportive of teachers and levelheaded regarding the aforementioned “issues.” I recently completed my thirty-seventh year in the classroom. As has always been the case for me andContinue reading “Postpartum Thoughts on Another School Year Delivered”
Surely, as a society, it’s reasonable to offer some degree of forgiveness to those who, many of whom were teenagers at the time, were poorly or completely unadvised or, even worse, duped into unwisely borrowing what they could never afford to pay back and for which, in reality, they should never have been considered qualified. If we are willing to bailout financial institutions, the auto industry, and farmers, we can find a way to alleviate at least some of the financial burden of ordinary, good-intentioned people.
Last Saturday in the juxtaposition of a theatrical performance of To Kill a Mockingbird five hours after a mass shooting in a Buffalo supermarket, I learned that, although the suspension of disbelief is absolutely necessary in the theater, in real life, it may get you killed.
For the first time in thirty-seven years of teaching, this week I felt the need to inform my bosses of the material I would be sharing in my classroom. I wasn’t seeking permission as much as providing them with a warning that the topic of the readings in the upcoming unit in my college compositionContinue reading “Talking Race in the Classroom”
Although it may seem like you just filled the tank, be sure to check your odometer because “days go by,” and life is a one tank trip.
Although the monsters of literature, pop culture, and our imaginations do not actually exist beyond their sphere, there are any number of real world monsters — some of our own creation — of which we must be wary.
One should never conflate popularity with quality, and whenever a song or any work of art crosses unintentionally into self-parody through an overabundance of clichés, there’s a problem whether it’s popular or not.
One of the main reasons I began writing novels and, more recently, publishing a blog is that I wanted to expand my classroom, where, in any given year, I might reach 100 to 150 students. Through my fiction and essay writing, I’ve been able to share whatever small measure of wisdom I’ve gleaned over myContinue reading “Roth’s Class, Volume 1”
Other reasons for my feeling myself to be a fossilized remnant include 1) half of the time, I don’t understand what the young bucks on staff are talking about, especially when they start throwing around education-related acronyms; 2) there are very few grandparents, like myself, on staff; 3) data, data, data; and 4) I wish I had my chalkboard back. Perhaps my most dinosaur-like attribute, however, is — GOD FORBID AND FORGIVE ME — I am a lecturer. I still possess the audacity to expect my students to sit for forty-five minutes while I offer instruction and, on the best days, entertainment and enlightenment.