True story.

Yesterday I was invited to be one of several judges at a middle school history fair. It turned out to be eight times more enjoyable than I expected, partly on the strength of the turkey sandwich they fed… Read More

A friend of mine recently lamented that too many people don’t know the difference between “it’s” and “its.” He wrote what he hoped would be a simple mnemonic device that would help writers use the terms properly. I… Read More


A tongue-in-cheek article by A. Barton Hinkle claims that “Now We Know Why Children Are Getting Dumber.” In essence, it’s because the volume of knowledge keeps expanding. There’s always more literature out there to be pored over, there’s… Read More

The wrong button.

The quotations may not be totally accurate but the tone and spirit are: Yesterday I was yelling at one of my classes for being inattentive, and broke out one of the old standards: “If you guys get bad… Read More


Whilst going through some files and folders yesterday, I found some paperwork from my student teaching internship and was reminded of a story. Clemson didn’t call it an internship, they called it a “practicum,” which I suppose is… Read More

To Mrs. Coburn.

Many many moons ago I was nearly killed in an industrial accident (not the gamma radiation kind, but the impalement-on-the-axle-of-a-large-machine kind) and thereupon decided it was time to go into an arguably safer profession: teaching. I enrolled in… Read More

Vote The Fifth.

For the “free response” part of their AP exams, students are given green booklets that contain the questions and pink booklets in which to write their answers. They can scribble whatever they wish in either book, but the… Read More

Out of the park.

Yesterday the principal told me that I made it through to the next round of the district-level Teacher of the Year competition. That means we’re down to about 15 or 20 semifinalists out of 160 nominees. I was… Read More

On accountability.

For the district-level TOTY competition, I had to send in an application packet that included responses to questions about public education and my own teaching practices. One of the questions was about accountability in public education: Who should… Read More


I’ve been asked to write my opinions about a number of pedagogical matters, fifteen pages max. I’m down to twenty-seven. They should’ve just asked me to give my opinion in person, I would’ve just shrugged and said, “Ah…… Read More

Two honors.

Today I was the proud recipient of two honors: 1. My Paxon colleagues voted me Teacher of the Year. Nominations were made at the last faculty meeting; voting was done in last week’s department meetings; the principal made… Read More

The seminar.

To recap: Turns out that someone at the district office was looking at our AP United States History pass rates and thought it might be a good idea if we could talk to some of the newer teachers… Read More