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More Learning. Less Stress.

Dave Stuart in the Classroom

About Dave Stuart Jr.

  • Keynote speaker at conferences and events.
  • Popular writer on teaching, literacy, and character with 35,000+ monthly readers.
  • Award-winning educator who leads workshops for teachers around the country.
  • Dedicated husband and dad who's not perfect but striving every day.

Hi there!

I'm Dave Stuart Jr. I teach at Cedar Springs High School and write about getting better at teaching. I believe all students and teachers should flourish, and that belief animates my work.

Like you, I'm in pursuit of big questions. I want to do all I can to ensure my students dominate life's challenges. I want my passion for my content areas to be contagious. I want to make an impact with my career while not losing my personal life in the process.

On this blog, you'll find me pursuing those aims through my writing. A taste of what you'll find:

  • Proven ways to get better as a teacher — and saner, too.
  • Ideas for increasing your impact as a teacher and a person.
  • Healthy doses of inspiration, humor, and joy.


What others have said

It's no secret that there's a dearth of practical how-to stuff out there written for real teachers by real teachers. This blog aims to fill a small part of that dearth. (Yes, I just used dearth like that, and no, I'm not sure it was okay.)

Other, much wiser people agree:


What I appreciate most about Dave Stuart… is that he is one of us: a classroom teacher sharing with us what works for him in ways that will work for us in our own classrooms with our own students. When I read about the poster on his class wall that says “[In this class] we are all about becoming better thinkers, readers, writers, speakers, and people,” I think of the years of hard work I have watched Dave Stuart put into his craft and this book, and how the same statement applies to Dave Stuart himself: He is all about becoming a better thinker, reader, writer, speaker, person—and teacher, and showing us how we can do the same.

–Jim Burke, teacher and author of more than 20 books, including The Common Core Companion: What They Say, What They Mean, and How to Teach Them

Dave Stuart’s These Six Things is among the most helpful, passionate, practical, insightful teaching resources I have ever come across.

–Mike Schmoker, author of Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning

gerald-graff-dave-stuart-testimonialIf you're a teacher or school administrator interested in turning your students onto argument, Dave Stuart is your man!

–Gerald Graff, Professor of English and Education, University of Illinois at Chicago; 2008 President, Modern Language Association of America; author of They Say / I Say

gerald-graff-dave-stuart-testimonialThese are acute insights, engendered through self-reflective practice, and articulated by a sophisticated education practitioner-theorist. I also happen to agree completely with all of them…. [I]f you haven’t checked out Dave Stuart’s blog, I strongly encourage you to do so…. [He] covers a range of teaching topics — from a framework to guide curriculum decisions, to ways to stay motivated as a teacher, to practical strategies for literacy instruction — unified by a unique, and serious but not somber, sensibility.

–Les Lynn, founder and CEO of Argument-Centered Education, Inc.; founding executive director of the Chicago Debate Commission; founding executive director of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues

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Re “How Long Do You Spend Grading Articles of the Week ” davestuartjr gmail.com Gmail

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Even though I teach college, I’ve put many of your ideas into practice and shared them with colleagues. Education is education, at whatever level, and you have really distilled it to its essence. It’s a messy essence, but that’s important for us all to realize too.
–Shir from Saranac Lake, NY

You are my freakin' hero, Dave Stuart. There is nothing that you post that I don't read, print, save, and re-read. THANK YOU!
–Deborah from Lexington, KY

You are awesome, Dave Stuart Jr! You are my spirit animal.
–Holly from North Carolina

You are truly an amazing and creative educator! I have just added an important tool to my toolbox of building community in my classroom… Thank you!
–Marilyn Z from Wells, Maine

I've never before felt compelled to respond, but, as a 29 year veteran who regularly “stays late” I never looked at it this way before…. I admire your practicality and effectiveness, but most importantly, you are the rare teaching “guru” who truly uplifts and inspires without creating that feeling of inadequacy for us lesser mortals that is just soul-sucking. You are incredibly humble and real and, in this day and age, that's admirable. I can't tell you how many times I've opened a Dave Stuart email and there's a message I really needed to hear at that particular moment. Not just a positive message, but an actual solution that is easy to implement. My students and I have benefited enormously from your work. Please don't get too famous and stop teaching. Your students are truly blessed.
–Taryn M from Florida

Here's the deal:

I got into teaching because I wanted to impact students.

I did not get into teaching because I wanted to produce dog-and-pony-show lessons on evaluation day, or because I wanted to obsess over test scores.

I'm just not that guy.

But I do want to be the guy who helps you get rid of the fluff and go big on practices that matter most.

So that's what I do here: I show you how to take a non-freaked out approach to teaching. I share what actually works and fails in my history and English classes and what actually works in the classes of my awesome math and science colleagues. A lot of what I talk about pertains to the Common Core, but that's only because there are parts of the Common Core that make a boatload of sense.

If you haven't done so already, I invite you to subscribe to blog updates — it's free.

All that does is send new articles I write straight to your inbox.

A Collection of Colleagues Who Want to Do the Right Work


I was with these fine teachers of Louisville when I realized close reading had died of buzzwordification.

The crazy thing I've discovered since starting Teaching the Core in May 2012 is that, in just about every school in the nation, there are a cadre of teachers who simply aren't about getting worked up about edu-change.

I mean, yeah, it's not like we go out looking for change, but we also aren't going to waste our lives worrying about it.

What we do is simple: we constantly pursue the practices that will promote the long-term flourishing of as many of our students as possible.

We're not experts, by any means; we're just aggressively seeking to use every minute in our classrooms as profitably as possible. Just as often as I share a decent idea on Teaching the Core, I get great ideas from readers. Sometimes they share through Twitter, other times through Facebook, and most often through the comment sections on my 150+ individual blog posts.

I am constantly amazed at the wherewithal we have when we decide to resist the isolation inherent in teaching, instead putting our heads together to figure out what works best in our classrooms.

The best way to join this growing movement of over 10,000 subscribers is to… well, subscribe, by signing up for the email list below:

About Dave Stuart Jr.

These girls make me a rich man :)

These girls make me a rich man 🙂

When I founded Teaching the Core, I didn't think I was founding anything — I was just trying to force myself to learn the Common Core and dominate my capstone project for my master's degree program at the American College of Education (which I wholeheartedly recommend, by the way).

(For the record, I'm a long-time standards avoider.)

But do you know what has been my thing? Teaching.

When I first started my teaching career in Baltimore, my classes were labeled “accelerated” because most of my students were behind grade level, and we ended up ditching the basals and reading Anne Frank, Romeo and Juliet, and The Outsiders. My students appreciated the high expectations; as a “family and team,” we exceeded the high-stakes scores we were expected to get, and more than a few of us were inspired by the hard work and growth we saw in each other.

Since moving back to Michigan, I've been working in the Tech 21 Academy, a “school within a school” in our small, rural-suburban town. According to the numbers, our academy is made up of a larger than usual amount of socioeconomically “at-risk” freshmen, and yet our students consistently inspire us to raise our expectations. Each year, my colleagues and I push our students to read highly complex novels, plays, and books, both as a whole class and on a self-chosen basis; we also read over 70 articles and source documents. Our kids write like crazy, they argue like crazy, and they develop the habits of grit, self-control, and life domination.

In other words, we are like teachers all around the world who are working hard to give their students every possible opportunity to own their lives and develop the skills and dispositions they'll need to flourish long-term.

I want you to know that I'm honored to serve as your guide in the quest to figure out what works best in the classroom.

I hope you'll join me. All you have to do is enter your email below and click “sign me up!”

A huge thank you

I have been deeply impacted by the following programs and institutions:

  • Thornapple Kellogg Public Schools (graduated 2002)
  • The University of Michigan School of Education (graduated 2006)
  • The Lake Michigan Writing Project and the National Writing Project
  • The Transatlantic Outreach Program
  • The American College of Education (graduated 2013)

More feedback from readers


Places my work has shown up